A BOGUS bailiff is ripping off anglers fishing along the Basingstoke Canal in the Mytchett area.

He is reported to be "charging" adults and children £5 for a forged day permit.

The villain tricks the fishermen into handing over the cash after showing them what he claims is a bailiff's warrant card.

Gary Goddard, the canal's head bailiff, this week warned anglers to have nothing to do with the trickster.

He also appealed for anyone approached by the conman to immediately contact either himself or the police.

"This man must be caught," said Mr Goddard. "It's extremely worrying to have someone like this prowling along the canal."

The bogus bailiff is about 6ft tall, in his early 40s with short hair on top and long at the sides.

There are 30 accredited bailiffs who patrol the canal, and they each carry a warrant card with a gold coloured name and address tag, and a photograph.

Their fee for a daily canal fishing permit is £4 for adults and £2.50 for children.

"I think this chap is charging £5 because he doesn't want to hang around fiddling with change," said Mr Goddard.

He added that police had been alerted about the man's activities.

Anyone who is approached by the trickster may contact Mr Goddard on either 01252 677060 or 07957 696875.