A SCHEME designed to make Camberley a "no go" area for fraudsters has been given the thumbs up by local shopkeepers.

Launched last Friday, the crackdown involves requesting shoppers to put their thumbprint on the back of cheques and credit card slips.

If the transaction turns out to be fraudulent, then the thumbprint will be passed to the police to help them track down the criminal.

Customers who object to supplying their thumbprint will be asked to provide detailed proof of their identity.

PC Paul Blomfield, the area's crime reduction officer, said: "Customers with nothing to hide have nothing to worry about.

"The cheques and credit card slips will be passed to us only if the signature has been forged."

Shops taking part in the scheme have been provided with a colourless inkpad. The ink leaves no mark on the skin, but turns black on the paper.

Police hope that news of the scheme will frighten fraudsters away from the town, leading to a general reduction in crime.

Research has shown that crooks involved in fraud usually commit other crimes as well.

Glen Fulton, manager of the town's Main Square shopping centre, said on Monday: "I think it's an excellent idea.

"The retailers are very enthusiastic, and I've not heard any criticism from members of the public either."