TWO masked thugs smashed up a police van in Southampton last night.

A hunt has been launched for the vandals who it is believed were riding a stolen moped.

Police in Shirley released a photograph of the smashed up front window of the police van on social media.

It is not known if any officers were inside the vehicle at the time of the attack but a tweet from police said: "Officers avoided injury."

Details of where the incident happened and at what time have not been released by police.

The police van has now been taken off the road until it is repaired.

Officers have linked the attack to Hampshire Police's Operation Torque - the force's on going crackdown on motorcycle crime in Southampton.

The initiative was set up by PC Simon Peacock whose mission has been to reduce the number of incidents involving motorcycles, mopeds and mini mopeds being ridden illegally and dangerously in the Millbrook and surrounding areas.