A police officer with a passion for football is hoping other fans will join him in the fight against crime.

Crime prevention officer and Boro season ticket holder Sergeant Glynn Bass is recruiting tens of thousands of Middlesbrough football fans in his campaign to show thieves the red card.

In an attempt to reduce the numbers of fans' cars broken into while the owners are watching a match at the Riverside Stadium, 20,000 season ticket holders are receiving written advice from Cleveland Police.

The Know the Score cards they are receiving through the post with their season ticket and fixtures list, carry a personal message from Sgt Bass.

He said: "Football fans are easy targets on match days. Thieves know that their cars are left unattended for the duration of the game and that is when they strike.

"We want to put the boot in with this initiative and blow the whistle on their thieving activities."

He is urging fans to follow his example and remove the parcel shelves of their cars, allowing opportunist thieves to look straight into an empty boot.

He said: "If motorists make sure that there is nothing to steal from their cars and nothing on view, like mobile phones, bags or jackets, even if there is nothing in them, they will reduce the chance of becoming a victim of this type of crime."

He suggests that fans leave anything they do not need at home while they attend a match.

"When fans are at a game they are away from their cars for an hour and three quarters - perhaps two hours - giving thieves a window of opportunity for that length of time," he said.

"We do have police patrols out, but they cannot be everywhere at the same time."