Neighbourhood watch groups in Southport are warning residents to be vigilant after a man  was caught acting suspiciously on private property this evening.

Manning Road resident Joanne Lunt was shaken after she caught the male, who spoke with an Irish accent, in her garden to the side of her house.

When she confronted him he said he had been asked by a builder to check for scrap before fleeing the scene in a small red van with Irish registration plates.

Joanne says the male was accompanied by a small group of other men who were waiting for him in the van wearing hi-vis jackets.

Police have been informed and residents in the Meols Cop area of Southport are being told to remain vigilant.

It’s suspected the male was checking unsecured windows or doors on suburban properties.

A group of men matching the same description were reported to have been operating around Blundelsands earlier this afternoon.