POLICE officers targeting vehicle crime in Blackwood visited thousands of homes around the town.

They handed out crime prevention packs and also encouraged residents to review security.

The initiative began last week and over five days, almost 700 car radios were postcoded as part of the security clampdown.

Officers marked the registration number of the vehicles they belonged to on the back of the car radios with a UV marker so they can be traced if stolen.

Police said £1,000 worth of crime prevention material had also been sold to the public, including autolocks, shed alarms and personnel attack alarms.

Almost 200 referrals have also been made to the Bobby Scheme.

All vehicles operating out of Blackwood police station were fitted with UV lights, enabling officers to check the radios in vehicles stopped were not stolen.

PC Wayne Roberts, the crime and disorder reduction officer at Blackwood station, said: "The initiative has been a great success.

"People living in the Blackwood area should feel safer in their homes.

"We've had a great response from the public. More than 3,000 people entered our vehicle crime competition which encourages you to read the information packs.

"We will continue to carry out schemes to combat vehicle crime and, indeed, all types of crime."

Gwent police officers, the crime prevention panel, GAVO (Gwent Association of Voluntary Organis-ations), police community support officers and council community wardens all worked together on the initiative.

For further advice on any crime prevention issues, contact PC Roberts at Blackwood police station on 01633 838111.