Patrols have been stepped up in Dorchester after youths were suspected of killing more than 20 ducks using catapults.

The dead birds were discovered near to a picturesque river walk along the banks of the River Frome in Dorchester.

The youths had previously been spotted targeting other birds with catapults, police said, and swans had also been shot at with the toys.

Following the incident, the Dorchester Neighbourhood Policing Team conducted foot patrols along the River Walk in Dorchester on Tuesday evening.

A Dorchester Police spokesman said: "We are increasing patrols in this area due to recent reports of ducks and swans being shot at with catapults.

"Sadly there have been numerous dead ducks located in recent weeks.

"Dorset Police urge members of the public to report any suspicious incidents by calling 101 or 999 if crime is in progress reports can also be made via the Dorset Police website."