Police in Croydon are appealing to the public to take some simple steps to help cut their chances of becoming a victim of vehicle crime.
Vehicle crime on the borough is showing a 14.3% increase during the six-month period April to September 2015, compared to the same period in 2014 – an increase of 258 reported offences, up from 1,450 to 1,658.
Inspector Kevin Fitzgerald is keen to raise awareness of the rise and is urging residents to act now and take simple steps to prevent their vehicles from being a target.
Inspector Fitzgerald said,
“A majority of these incidents could have been avoided if drivers had taken simple crime prevention measures, as 50% of the vehicles were either left unlocked or with items left displayed in parked vehicles.
During our daily patrols we regularly see valuables being displayed inside parked vehicles. With Christmas just around the corner, people will soon be out shopping and in many cases will be leaving their shopping inside vehicles whilst unattended.
I urge residents to take simple measures such as locking vehicles, removing valuable items from view and ensuring no cables or satellite navigation players are on display. Please also do not leave work tools in your vehicles overnight.
Over the next few months, both uniformed and under-cover officers will be patrolling the borough to prevent offences and detect offenders. However, most vehicle crime is preventable. It can take as little as 10 seconds for a thief to steal something from your car – prevention is an invaluable tool in the fight against crime.”
Advice from the police includes:
- Always lock your vehicle when you leave it.
- Ensure all windows are closed.
- Never leave valuable items in your car – Sat Navs, cash, credit cards, chequebooks, mobile phones, or other valuables.
- Wipe away the Sat Nav mark on your windscreen.
- Consider fitting anti-tamper screws to your number plate.
- Never leave your car keys where they can be seen from the front door.
You can download a copy here: MPS Croydon Preventing vehicle crime sheet – Oct 2015.