GOLF fans planning to watch The Open are warned to stay away from ticket touts as part of a council-led campaign..

Anyone caught selling tickets on the street during the four-day tournament will be will be prosecuted, with a maximum fine of £1,000.

Sue Bannister, leader of the council's six-strong environmental enforcement team patrolling the town's busy streets during the championship, said: "Our aim is to protect the public from touts.

"We want people to enjoy themselves and have a good time. We don't want them to be ripped off.

"There's absolutely no reason for anyone to buy tickets from touts. You can still pay at the gate.

"There is evidence that touts have been at work though this week.

"For example, yesterday someone bought a ticket from a tout only to find out when he tried to enter the course that it was for the previous day.

"This is just not acceptable."

Police are supporting the operation, acting as spotters, but the enforcement powers lie solely with the council.