A scheme to combat the theft of valuable parts from cars and vans has been launched in Bexley.

Last year there were 74 reported thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles in the borough, with thieves tending to target specific models in certain areas. These include the Volkswagen Sharan, Ford Galaxy, Seat Alahambra and Mercedes Sprinter.

To tackle the problem, Bexley Council has provided police with 200 marking kits and local Kwik Fit branches will mark converters free of charge.

The police will be inviting owners of at risk vehicles living and working hotspots for catalytic converter theft, to take their motors to the nearest Kwik Fit.

If the part is stolen, the unique serial number in each marking will help identify the victim and aid prosecution.

Councillor Don Massey, cabinet member for community safety and leisure, said: "We want to make things difficult for people who commit crime against our residents.

"This partnership between ourselves, the police and Kwik Fit will help do that."

Concerned owners should contact their police Safer Neighbourhoods Team on 101 to find out if their car is at risk.