Hotspots for vehicle crime and burglary targeted in police campaign

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A campaign to highlight how people can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of vehicle crime and burglary is under way in crime hotspot areas across the county.

‘Don’t make it easy for thieves’ is the message police are sending to motorists and homeowners, along with advice to encourage people not to leave valuables on display and to lock windows and doors when parking their vehicle or leaving their home.

As part of Operation Guardian, which is Northamptonshire Police’s countywide operation to clamp down on burglary and vehicle crime, reminders have been displayed in areas across the county which have seen a high number of thefts from vehicles and house burglaries in the last 12 months.

Theft from vehicles accounted for just over three quarters of all vehicle crimes reported during the last year, and over half the items stolen could be seen easily from outside of the vehicle.

Vehicle crime lead for the force, Detective Inspector Ali Farr, said: “These types of incidents could be dramatically reduced if people took the simple step of taking their belongings with them when leaving their vehicle unattended.”

Relevant messages have been displayed on items which are likely to attract the attention of motorists and passengers, such as fuel pump nozzles and the back of car park tickets.

A mobile advertising van is also being used to drive around streets where valuables have been stolen after being left in a vehicle.

Operation Guardian lead, Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Blatchly, said: “During the first week of December, this type of crime was at its highest, with 118 offences being reported to police.

“We are pleased to have seen this figure reduce, with 57 incidents of this nature being reported to police last week, but this is still too high.

“We need your help to make life harder for thieves.”

Letters have also been distributed to residents in areas that have seen a high number of burglaries as a result of offenders gaining entry to the property through an open window or unlocked door. Again, this type of crime is preventable.

The force is also spreading its message about preventing these types of crime through its social media channels.

Operation Guardian now has a dedicated twitter account and the force’s facebook profile has more than 27,000 followers.

For more information about Operation Guardian visit www.northants.police.uk.