POLICE arrested a 13-year-old boy during the latest crackdown on moped-related crime in Southampton.

The boy was detained by officers investigating reports that a stolen moped was being ridden in Mansel Park, Millbrook, scene of several previous incidents.

Police say the vehicle was returned to its owner following an operation carried out in Millbrook and Coxford.

It comes just days after a delivery driver was assaulted by a gang of youths when he tried to recover his stolen moped.

As reported in the Daily Echo the 23-year-old victim parked his moped on Evenlode Road and returned a short time later to discover it had been taken.

He found the moped in Mansel Park and was assaulted by a group around 15 youths when he attempted to take it back.

Locals went to his rescue and the group ran off toward Kendal Avenue.

Last weekend police received several reports that tools in vans parked in Coxford, Redbridge and Shirley had been stolen by youths on mopeds.

In a message posted on social media Southampton West Neighbourhood Team said they were doing everything they could to tackle moped-related crime.

They said: "We know you are concerned about crimes in the area, specifically relating to anti-social use of mopeds, moped theft and how those riding these bikes may be involved in other crimes.

"We listen to you, we read your reports.

"Last night we arrested a 13-year-old boy on suspicion of theft following a report that a stolen moped was being ridden in Mansel Park."

Police said they also recovered another stolen moped that was being ridden dangerously in Coxford.

They added: "We know how it affects people’s lives - whether through having to endure anti-social behaviour, or theft – and we are doing everything we can to reduce the issue. When we have units available to take action we will.

"We rely on you to let us know about these incidents.Tell us who is involved or tell us when and where it is happening.

"Although we don’t respond to every call that’s because we are committed elsewhere, often dealing with serious violence, domestic abuse, serious sexual offences.

"But this issue also matters and we will respond where we can.

"We do this job to make communities safer and we are doing everything we can with the time we have to achieve that for you.

"This is just one evening, but we’re planning on continuing with this to reduce the issue further with your help. We will always listen to you and we hope this shows you that we do."