Police officers in Surbiton have come up with a new wheeze to reassure residents they are on the beat.

Surbiton Hill officers have begun logging their foot patrols using their phones and posting the maps online.

Sergeant Paul Marshall said the idea was to reassure people who might not see an officer on patrol during the day that the bobbies really are out and about.

The maps, created using tracking apps, function a little like a postman's 'Sorry we missed you' card.

Sgt Marshall said: "Sometimes people will say, 'You never see police here', but we know we do go and control those areas.

"We're asked to do a bit more with less, but I think there's payback from foot patrol.

"That's always something I've pushed for. The officer on foot will always be able to explore. And, of course, you've got the health benefits."

Officers' tracking apps log not only their route - up to six miles - but the number of calories burned, Sgt Marshall said.

Kit like belt packs and body armour adds almost two stone to an officer's weight, burning even more calories.