New Forest drivers are urged to ensure they don’t make their vehicles an easy target for thieves.
The Safer New Forest Partnership is raising awareness in a bid to reduce car crime in towns, villages and rural parts of the district following recent thefts from unlocked vehicles.
“Always make sure your car is locked – even when it is parked on your driveway,” said Cllr Jill Cleary, New Forest District Council portfolio holder for housing and communities.
“It may seem obvious, but many thefts occur from outside people’s homes, where opportunist thieves take advantage of someone forgetting to lock their car doors.”
Other tips for cracking car crime include:
- If you are parking in a town or city, choose a well-lit car park, preferably one that is protected by CCTV or patrolled. If you are parking near a wall, reverse in so that thieves can’t access the boot.
- Drivers and their passengers should remove all valuable items – including coats, CDs, sat navs and the cradle, mobiles and laptops – from their parked vehicles whether it is outside your house or in a public space.
- Don’t leave a coat or blanket on the back seat – thieves will assume this is covering something worth stealing.
- Don’t leave coins (used for parking meters or shopping trolleys) in the centre console, dashboard, etc, as this may tempt thieves to smash and grab.
- Fit your car with an immobiliser, an alarm or other security devices, such as wheel locks.
The Partnership also reminds residents they can register their valuables for free on www.immobilise.com
New Forest Chief Inspector Tony Rowlinson added: “Although car crime does occur, there has been a significant reduction and the police are doing a lot to combat it. However people can help themselves and help us to further reduce the problem by taking some simple crime prevention measures like locking car doors and removing all valuables.”
A yellow Safer New Forest card is available which can be displayed in vehicles stating: ‘No valuables have been left in this vehicle.’ They are available free of charge from New Forest District Council information offices or at Lymington and Totton police stations.