Felixstowe: Don’t be a loser

Police are going back to basics with their latest crime-cutting initiative.

And the message they want to put out is Don’t Be A Loser.

Officers want to ensure people in areas which are preyed on by thieves are taking basic measures to stop theft from cars and house burglaries.

They are going door-to-door offering advice on protecting yourself and your property from villains.

This year has seen a spate of offences committed in Felixstowe – but police say many of them could have been avoided.

Between January 9 and February 12, there were 64 reports of vehicles being broken into in Felixstowe and nearby villages, but in 42 of the cases – two-thirds – the cars were left unlocked by their owners, making it easy for the opportunist thieves.

Felixstowe’s police chief Steve Gallant said the real total of break-ins could be far higher, with many people reluctant or embarrassed to report cases where they had left their cars open.

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“If it was me and I had left my car unsecured and someone had opened the door and taken a couple of CDs and loose change, I don’t think I would even bother to report it – so we may never know how many cars have actually been entered,” said Inspector Gallant.

“It amazes and frustrates me that some people still leave their vehicles and homes unsecure and property on open display – they make it far too easy for would-be thieves.

“A range of items have been stolen, including sat navs, change, purses, wallets, ipods, CDs, handbags, all from unlocked vehicles.”

Officers believe young offenders are to blame, walking along streets in the early hours, simply trying car doors, and investigations are ongoing.

Car break-ins will be one of the key crimes which the Don’t Be A Loser campaign will target.

Beat officers are currently drawing up plans for visits to affected areas and will be joined on the campaign trail by councillors to drive home the message.

“We have put together information packs but rather than just slip these through the door, we have identified areas which are most vulnerable to thefts and will be visiting the areas, knocking on doors and speaking to residents,” said Insp Gallant.

Officers will take UV pens and show residents how to use these to protect property, marking items in the home such as electrical goods, also taking digital photos of jewellery and other valuables, and recording serial numbers to create a record for the householder to keep.

“If any of the items were then, God forbid, ever stolen, and we then recovered them, it would help us to return the correct property to people,” he added.