COUNTERFEIT cash is circulating in Bicester, police have warned.

Businesses are advised to be 'vigilant' after reports of fake £20 notes being used in the town.

In a message sent out via the Thames Valley Alert website yesterday evening, police asked people to be aware of fake notes in the area.

Officers did not quantify reports they had received about the worthless imitations, or give details about where they had used. 

Police linked to Bank of England advice, which states counterfeit notes are 'rare'.

They are thought to only make up about 0.01 per cent of bank notes in circulation.

Its advice states: "If you come across a counterfeit banknote, it is important that the police are contacted in all instances.

"Counterfeit banknotes are part of organised criminal activity. Each counterfeit note is evidence.

"Remain vigilant at all times, check all notes as they are being passed in payment, and use the educational materials available on our website. 

"Counterfeiters will target businesses where they know that banknotes are not being checked."