Wiltshire Police are sending officers down the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath on pushbikes, following a spate of thefts from canal boats.

The officers are being deployed to combat a series of incidents, along the Trowbridge and Bradford on Avon stretch of canal, which has seen money, phones, cameras, jewellery and laptops stolen. Foot patrols have also increased while plain clothes officers will also be going along the towpath.

Inspector Lisette Harvey said: “I believe it’s very important for my neighbourhood policing team to be visible and accessible to the public.

“Push bikes allow coverage of a wider area down the towpath to support the community there who have been targeted. We are getting really good feedback and the team is also enjoying interacting with the public.

“The bikes are a useful tool and an opportunity that we couldn’t overlook as the towpath can be a difficult area to cover.”

Following the thefts, Police have contacted the Waterways Authority asking them to give advice to boat owners along the canal about keeping their belongings safe.

Officers have also given a list of all the items taken to businesses in case anyone tries to sell them.