POLICE have launched a series of overnight patrols following break-ins at schools in Hampshire.

The incidents happened over the past five days and offenders stole food and drink, as well as attempting to steal cash.

In one incident at a community centre £500 was stolen.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: "Police officers will be patrolling the areas around schools in Gosport and Stubbington overnight during the coming days.

"We are also encouraging teachers and staff at any school to be vigilant, to ensure that all doors and windows are locked, and that equipment is locked away."

Officers say three reports have been made of burglaries at Brune Park School on Military Road, Gosport, between 9pm on Sunday, November 25, and 2am the following morning.

Someone broke in and attempted to steal cash from a safe in the canteen area.

Then, between 10pm on Tuesday, November 27 and 3.40am the following morning, someone broke in and damaged a coin machine.

There was another break-in between 3am and 3.20am on Thursday when someone smashed windows and broke into a cash machine, but there was no money inside.

Two reports were also made of break-ins to Crofton School in Marks Road, Stubbington.

Between 1am and 2am on Monday, November 26, someone broke in and damaged doors, and in November 28 two people broke into the kitchen and stole food and drink.

Police say there was a report of a break-in to Bridgemary, Woodcot, and Rowner Community Association, which is based on Wych Lane, Gosport.

Between 9.40pm on Wednesday, November 28 and 7.30am on Thursday, someone broke in, moved alcohol, and stole £500 in cash.

Officers are attempting to work out if any of the reports are linked.

The police spokesman said: "We would like to hear from anyone who has seen anything suspicious in the areas around the schools or community association. You should call 101 quoting 44180442060.

"We would always encourage anyone who sees or hears suspicious activity or trespassers on school grounds outside of opening hours to call us immediately on 101."