POLICE are stepping up patrols in villages near Winchester following an increase in thefts.

Officers have said that they have noticed an increase in theft from motor vehicles around Shawford and the Avington and Ovington area.

In an attempt to stop offenders, officers will be increasing patrols in the area from Wednesday.

A post on Winchester Police’s Facebook page said: “What we do ask is that if you are planning to drive to out to the countryside for a walk or to enjoy the views please do not leave valuables your vehicles. Also ensure that your vehicle is locked.”