POLICE have launched a high-profile operation to tackle a huge surge in car crime.

Football fans and hospital staff are bearing the brunt as streets around Ibrox Stadium and the Southern General have seen sharp ­increases in the number of cars being broken into.

The problem is worst in streets used by hospital workers and football fans - both Rangers and away supporters.

Ibrox, Cessnock, Cardonald and Pollok are easy targets, and offer rich pickings for criminals, with hundreds of extra vehicles being parked in the areas.

Staff at the Southern General are leaving their cars for hours at a time, meanwhile thieves are targeting cars parked in the area on match days.

Mobile phones, satnavs, laptops, mobile chargers and other personal belongings are ­being stolen.

Officers have now launched high-visibility patrols around popular parking areas.

Police Constable ­Michael Smith warned: "Thieves will use any opportunity to commit crime - don't make it easy for them."

During the past two months, police have ­recorded a "spike" in the number of thefts from cars.

Vehicle windows have been smashed and doors forced by thieves, who then steal valuable items from ­inside the car.

However, some of the targeted vehicles have been left unlocked.

PC Smith added: "Lock and secure your car and remember to ­remove bags, personal items, anything that is of value to you from your car."

Thefts are understood to be taking place during weekdays, as well as at weekends.

Extra police patrols have been stepped up across the South Side to combat the increase in car break-ins.

The police beat covering Plantation Park, Springfield Quay, Tradeston and Bellahouston, has been bearing the brunt of car crime.

Broomloan Road, and part of Edmiston Drive, are among the streets popular for parking on match days.

Earlier this year, we told how mindless thugs are risking lives by setting fire to cars.

In just five months in Glasgow more than 140 cars were torched.