Motor crime crack down

WITH the busy Easter holidays now just a few weeks away, Suffolk Police are urging motorists to remember to lock their vehicles and take valuables with them.

WITH the busy Easter holidays now just a few weeks away, Suffolk Police are urging motorists to remember to lock their vehicles and take valuables with them.

The SMART (Stop Motorcrime and Ring Today) campaign aims to reduce vehicle crime as part of the Constabulary's ongoing Suffolk First initiative, and motorists are being urged to take simple precautions, such as not leaving valuables on view, to deter thieves.

Good weather tends to mean more of us head for days out on the coast and at popular beauty spots, but police are asking you to remember crime prevention advice whether you're enjoying a day out or are just going about your everyday business.

Even if you're leaving your vehicle unattended for just a few minutes you should lock it, and by not leaving handbags, cameras, mobile phones and other valuables on view, you dramatically reduce the risk of your vehicle being targeted by thieves.

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Across the county police run different initiatives on car crime – for example, in the Felixstowe sector, foot patrols will be directed at car parks which have been previously targeted, police will liaise with local attractions and the agencies which run them and covert work may be done to catch offenders.

But police still need your help. You can do this by:

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l Reporting any suspicious activity immediately. Call 999 if necessary.

l Always locking your vehicle. Even if you are leaving it for just a few minutes. And never leave windows or sunroof open or your keys in the ignition.

l Not leaving anything valuable on view. A handbag hidden under a seat, a mobile phone on the dashboard, a camera in a bag on the back seat – all can be seen by a potential thief. If you take away the guarantee of getting a reward for breaking into your vehicle, you cut the chances of your vehicle being targeted.

l Not leaving coats, papers, or empty bags on the back seat. An opportunist thief may break in just to see if you've left something valuable underneath.

l If possible, not leaving anything valuable in your vehicle – not even in the boot. Leave it at home or take it with you.

l Taking reasonable security precautions. Preventative measures can reduce the risk of your vehicle being broken into – display alarm stickers, remove radio front panels or the radio itself, invest in steering locks and consider an alarm system.

Police would also like to hear from you immediately if you see a vehicle that has been broken into and urge anyone visiting local attractions to be vigilant. Anyone with information about car crime, or who would like to speak to someone about crime prevention, should contact Suffolk Police on 01473 613500.

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