BOGUS traders are facing action on the streets of Huddersfield.
The tough message comes from Kirklees Council in the wake of an increasing number of rogue traders and canvassers who plague people in the streets of Huddersfield town centre.
The council is urging people to check the identity of anyone who approaches them in the street and ask to see their council-approved licence.
Licensing committee chairman Clr Peter Sykes said: "Genuine people collecting for charities or carrying out other acceptable street-based activities will be more than happy to confirm their credentials.
"However, there are unscrupulous gangs and individuals touring town and city centres in the north of England who are operating illegally and conning people out of money.
"When they get drummed out of one town or city, they move on to the next."
He added: "By-laws which we can use in our local towns will be used to address the problem. The council will enforce a general ban on activities which annoy and obstruct passers-by.
"Licences will be granted for street activities which do not cause a problem and which many people would want to support.
"These companies and individuals are well aware of the need to obtain a licence and we have no problems with them whatsoever."
Clr Andrew Pinnock, council Cabinet member with responsibility for town centre regeneration, said: "People are coming to our towns in increasing numbers.
"Visitors need to enjoy their visit and not be continually obstructed and pestered by individuals as they move from street to street.
"Anyone operating in the street without a licence will be warned and where evidence of a repeat problem exists, prosecutions could follow."
He added: "Similar powers have already been used successfully to deal with problems of aggressive begging and illegal street trading."
Anyone who wants to report problems with canvassers, street traders or aggressive beggars should contact Kirklees Council's Licensing Section direct on 01484 221550 or tell patrolling street wardens.