MORE than 75 catalytic converter thefts have been reported in the past six weeks.

Hampshire Constabulary said most crimes have occurred in Romsey, Southampton and the New Forest.

Catalytic Converter theft is said to be closely linked to the prices of Rhodium and Palladium, both rare metals that are contained within the converters.

The price of these metals has increased during 2020 and police believe this is contributing to the increase in thefts.

Since September, police have recorded 78 thefts of this type.

The converters are said to be easier to access on hybrid vehicles, and therefore police are seeing a lot of thefts from hybrid Hondas and Toyotas.

Motorists are now being advised to park in ways to make it difficult for someone to access the converter, as well as taking measures to make these more difficult to remove.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said: "Catalytic converters can be stolen within a few minutes by using just a few basic tools.

"The local neighbourhood policing teams in your area are monitoring reports and would like to ask people to report any suspicious activity."