POLICE patrols in a Hampshire town have been stepped up after drivers and pedestrians were targeted by missile-throwing yobs.

Victims include Chris and Charlotte Baigent, who say they were lucky to escape serious injury when their car was damaged by a brick as they drove through the centre of Lymington.

Other people were almost hit by stones that appeared to have been thrown from a nearby window or rooftop.

Mr and Mrs Baigent’s silver-coloured Dodge Avenger was targeted in St Thomas Street between the M&S Foodhall and Karen’s Pet Market.

Mrs Baigent, 23, said they were returning from archery practice at the Gang Warily sports centre in Blackfield when they heard a loud thud on the car roof.

She added: “We didn’t stop in case something else was thrown.

“When we got home we found the brick had left a big dent in the car’s roof, just above where I’d been sitting.

“The point of impact was only about four inches from the windscreen, which is quite scary.

“It’s a case of what might have happened. If the brick had been any lower it would have gone through the glass and hit me.”

Mrs Baigent rang 101 to report the incident and also posted details on social media.

Julie Sheppard replied: “You were lucky you were in a car. What if you had been a pedestrian. That could have killed you.”

The incident was one of several that occurred in the St Thomas Street area on Tuesday at 10.30pm.

Social media user Lauren Maityard posted: “My husband and his friends had stones thrown at them as they walked up the road. They’re sure they were coming from the roof of M&S.”

Adele Slade added: “My son was picking me up from work when he had stones thrown at him.”

It comes less than two weeks after two people were assaulted outside the Thomas Tripp pub in nearby Southampton Road and suffered serious injuries.

As reported in the Daily Echo, a 32-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman were involved in a midnight altercation with two other people on January 29.

Social media users are calling for extra police patrols in the town centre.

Carol Tyler posted: “It’s time the police started making their presence known in Lymington. It’s not a nice place to be and now has a bad reputation.”

Sarah Squire complained about anti-social behaviour in the town centre and added: “Please report it as it lets the police know there is a real problem. More bobbies on the beat would be welcomed.”

But a Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said officers were already mounting extra patrols.

“We had a report of young people throwing items from the roof of a building in Lymington,” he said.

“Patrols have been stepped up and we are directing resources from an operation to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in New Milton town centre.”