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Police issue advice for motorists to help prevent car crime during the festive season

posted 6 Dec 2012, 07:03 by Blackwater & Hawley NHW
With Christmas coming and the possibility that cars may have more items of value in them, police are reminding motorists to make sure they always lock and secure vehicles, no matter how short a time it is being left.
Most offences of theft from vehicle are opportunist. If valuable possessions (e.g. handbags, laptops, sat navs, iPods, mobile phones, cameras) are left on show inside a vehicle, it is much more likely to be targeted by thieves.
Even items of little value, such as shopping bags and clothing, may tempt a potential thief to break into the vehicle to see whether they contain anything worth stealing.
Local statistics show that in the last 6 months approximately 22% of all theft from motor vehicles are committed by exploiting an insecurity like an unlocked door or open window. A further 12% are committed by smashing a window to reach items left on display.
Offences can take place during the day or night, with a significant proportion relating to vehicles parked on driveways in addition to when parked on the street or in a public car park.
The following section contains crime prevention and reduction advice for motorists and car park owners that will assist police and partners to reduce this type of vehicle crime.

  • Avoid leaving your purchases and presents in you vehicle. If you must make sure they are not on display, store in the boot and make sure the car is locked
  • Keep your car keys safe. Do not leave them inside your car or in the ignition.
  • Don't leave your keys in a coat pocket.
  • Sports changing rooms can be targeted by thieves who look for car keys left in coat pockets.
  • Make sure that your keys are not visible to other people.
  • Always make sure your car doors and windows are locked.
  • Park your car in a garage.
  • If you don't have a garage, try to park in a well-lit, open place.
  • When using a car park, choose one that is well-supervised, has entry and exit points, good lighting and security. Avoid parking in dark spots.
  • Consider fitting security devices that are approved by either Thatcham or Sold Secure.
  • All security devices should be fitted by a professional.
  • If it's portable, take the sat nav with you together with the support cradle and suction pads.
  • Wipe away any marks left by the suction pads as thieves will look out for these.
  • Don't leave your equipment in the glove compartment - thieves usually check here first.
  • Consider fitting GPS or VHF tracking devices.
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