POLICE officers were on patrol in Barrington and the surrounding area last night to provide reassurance after reports of catalytic converter thefts. 

Catalytic converters reduce harmful pollutants emitted from vehicle exhausts, but they contain several precious metals and can be worth up to £600 on the black market.

Thieves can cut the catalytic converter off the exhaust pipe of a parked car in less than a minute. People are asked to report suspicious behaviour near vehicles.

Data obtained by Sky News revealed there were 1,110 reports of catalytic converter theft in the Avon and Somerset policing area last year. 

This works out at 150.55 thefts per 100,000 households across Bath, Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

The data comes as police forces across the UK experience an increase in the number of victims reporting having catalytic converters stolen from their vehicles.

Last night, a South Somerset Neighbourhood Policing spokesperson said: “Officers from South Petherton Neighbourhood Team have been out this evening, providing reassurance patrols out in Barrington and the surrounding areas following reports of catalytic converter thefts.

“We would like to remind the public of taking the extra steps to secure their vehicles and report any suspicious activities.”

Police and Crimestoppers advice to deter catalytic converter theft

Police have shared advice issued by Crimestoppers to help drivers deter thieves. To reduce the risk of theft, drivers should:

  • Park in a locked garage or a well-lit area;
  • Avoid parking legally on the pavement with two wheels if possible as that makes the underneath of the car more accessible;
  • Consider motion-detected lighting or surveillance cameras in accordance with necessary regulations;
  • Purchase a guard to cover catalytic converters or ask garage to weld bolts;
  • Make note of catalytic converter serial number on their car.