‘Fake police’ conman targeting gay community hunted

Police in Gloucestershire are trying to trace a man believed to be involved with a series of deceptions targeting the gay community throughout the UK following incidents in Bristol and Gloucestershire.

Officers were called to an address in Bishops Cleeve near Cheltenham on February 20, 2011 following a report of theft.

A 43-year-old local man claimed a man who had been staying with him for a over a week had left and stolen around £600 in cash and credit cards. The victim had met the man on a website and had told him his name was Saul White.

He claimed he was a police officer from Avon and Somerset who was transferring to Gloucestershire and needed a place to stay while he sorted out accommodation.

Officers investigating have found that this man is actually 30-year-old Matthew Attenborough who is wanted in at least nine other force areas for offences such as fraud and deception.

Police hunting Matthew AttenboroughPolice are releasing a picture of this man, who is also wanted by forces in Bristol, Birmingham, Newcastle, Liverpool, London, Doncaster, Reading, Coventry and Cardiff and urging anyone who knows where he is to get in touch.

Attenborough is targeting the gay community and it appears he is finding his victims through websites.

PC Melanie Earnshaw is investigating, she said: “This man is finding his victims on the internet, once he has got what he wants he will then move onto his next victim it seems in a completely different area of the country.“It is imperative that we find him before he targets someone else.

“It is also possible that there are people out there who have also been targeted by this man but haven’t reported it to police.“We would urge anyone has information to contact their local police.”

If you have any information you should call Gloucestershire police on 0845 090 1234 quoting incident 461 of February 20.

If you wish to remain anonymous you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.