Police in Southampton have warned plumbers to be on their guard against thefts of copper piping after two similar incidents in one night.

Copper piping was taken from a storage tube on the roof of a van parked on Freegrounds Road, Hedge End, though the value of the theft is unknown.

Another incident happened on Valerian Road, Hedge End, when someone saw a person tampering with a storage tube on a plumber's van. The tube was empty.

A police spokesman said: "We're putting out a warning to people in the plumbing trade who have these pipe covers on the roof of their van not to leave valuable copper pipe in them overnight because we have had vehicles targeted in recent weeks."

This police statement follows a spate of similar metal thefts in recent months, as the value of copper continues to rise.

A parliamentary summit was held recently to examine the problem, and called for legislation to be changed urgently.