POLICE were out in force to clampdown on rogue traders in Greenock as part of a national campaign.

More than 100 white vans and taxis were stop-checked in Operation Monarda on Wednesday.

Officers worked alongside VOSA, local taxi enforcement, trading standards and Home Office immigration officials in a bid to protect vulnerable people from being conned by bogus workmen.

Road policing sergeant Mark Miller said: "The aim of the operation is to prevent doorstep crime in the local community by checking the credentials of people driving unliveried white vans and to ensure they are a proper business."

A total of 143 vehicles were stopped, including 25 taxis.

Vosa issued 16 prohibition notices for a range of issues for defective brakes, bald tyres and lights.

A further 12 road traffic offences were reported.

Three taxis were put off the road for mechanical defects while one taxi driver was served a notice for 'his appearance'.

A further seven taxi drivers were handed notices for minor defects.

Sergeant Miller said: "We were checking the legality of white van drivers' backgrounds to establish who was using the van and the reasons for using it."

He said the day was a great success and sent out a message to the public that police where taking tough measures against fraudsters who take advantage of vulnerable residents.

Sergeant Miller said: "It was a productive day, 12 local officers were involved and we were out from 8am until 3pm and stopped 143 vehicles.

"It was a high visibility exercise.

"The public saw that we are there to stop bogus tradesmen.

"We also gave assistance and advice to drivers on road safety issues."