MORE than 25 drivers had their vehicle's catalytic converters etched as police teamed up with a local tyre and exhaust firm.

Neighbourhood officers visited Briant Tyres and Exhausts' Roman Camp on the A46 in Old Sodbury and Westerleigh garages to offer motorists free security advice.

Police were on hand on Thursday, December 20 offering vehicle security advice while mechanics security-marked the ‘cat’ converters.

Officers also replaced cars' standard number plate fittings with tamper-proof screws to prevent thieves stealing them to try to avoid detection when committing other crimes.

Chipping Sodbury Neighbourhood PC Mike Hart said: "'Cats' are stolen for their scrap value and we invited the owners of vehicles most commonly targeted by thieves to the marking sessions, taking the opportunity to secure their number plates as well."

Police say thieves can steal a 'cat' within five minutes. Drivers are advised to park their cars in garages overnight if possible and if parking on a driveway to install low energy, motion-sensing security lighting.

Other advice includes etching or painting the 'cat' with your postcode and fitting a catalytic converter clamp. For more vehicle security information visit the police website, or contact the neighbourhood team on 101.

Local people are asked to call police immediately if they spot anyone acting suspiciously around vehicles.