Hertfordshire has emerged as a metal thefts hotspot after latest figures showed it has the joint highest rate outside of London.

Police say they are prioritising resources to tackle it while also working with scrap dealers after 1,073 incidents were recorded in 2021/22 – a rate of 9 offences per 10,000 people.

The figure is down from 1,470 last year, but included more metal infrastructure thefts than anywhere in England bar the capital, according to Office for National Statistics data.

Sergeant Karen Mellor said: “Thefts of catalytic converters have been rising for several years across the UK as a whole.

“These increases are generally linked to rises in the prices of precious metal found in catalytic converter units.

“In Hertfordshire we have previously seen high instances of thefts possibly due to our proximity to London and the cross-border nature of these kinds of offences.

“However, there has been a significant fall in these types of crimes in the last year.”

It comes as Hertfordshire also experiences rising car thefts, with high-value vehicles particularly targeted.

Recently two Mercedes and two BMWs were taken overnight in Bushey and another Mercedes was stolen from a Watford driveway