Watford’s chief inspector has pleaded with drivers to make sure their vehicles are properly locked when they leave them unattended.

Ian Grout says theft from motor vehicles is one of the biggest policing priorities in the town.

But Chief Insp Grout indicated a lot of thefts could be avoided if people secured their vehicles properly.

Speaking earlier this month, he said: "We are suffering from theft from motor vehicles. A plea from me is about insecure vehicles.

"Most of our thefts from motor vehicles have been from insecure vehicles. We have a number of people who go up to cars and try door handles.

"I’d ask people to actually remember to lock their cars. I think sometimes people leave them on their driveway and they think they cars are secure.

"But we suffer an awful lot from this type of theft - and it is a priority for us to tackle."

Watford Observer:

Watford Chief Inspector Ian Grout

Chief Insp Grout added that thieves have also been targeting catalytic converters in Watford.

Toyota’s are popular with thieves – specifically the Prius and Auris hybrid models.

Over the summer, Hertfordshire Constabulary has been carrying out a campaign called Operation Feline, to help drivers protect their catalytic converters and to deter thieves.

As part of the campaign certain garages across the county are offering a free security marking service.

Details of the security marking scheme and further garages taking part in the county, can be found at www.herts.police.uk/operationfeline.

Other tips issued by police to deter thieves targeting vehicles include CCTV, LED security lighting, noisy gravel on your drive, and never leaving valuables on display, as well as locking a vehicle properly.