POLICE are calling on residents and shopkeepers to be extra vigilant when accepting cash, in particular £20 and £50 notes, following reports of counterfeit notes being used across Tendring.

Counterfeit notes are worthless and police say those who try to pass on forged banknotes could face up to ten years in prison.

A police spokesman said The Bank of England cannot reimburse for counterfeit banknotes and urged the public to check when accepting a banknote.

They added: “If you suspect that you have a counterfeit banknote, please put it in a bag to preserve any fingerprint evidence.

"Hand it to a police officer or take it to your nearest police station, along with any other information you can provide about the person who gave it to you.

"If we have enough information then the suspect notes will be sent to the National Crime Agency and, if counterfeit, to the Bank of England for further examination.

“If there isn’t enough information to be able to investigate, then please hand the note into a bank.”