Don’t turn your car into the perfect shop for thieves

on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Keep your vehicles and belongings safe this Christmas

'The Window Shoppers' Christmas campaign poster

Gwent Police and South Wales Police are encouraging motorists to keep their vehicles and belongings safe and not to advertise them to thieves.

During the first week of the joint “Don’t Have a Nightmare This Christmas!” campaign, the following crime prevention advice is being offered to motorists:

The 'Senseless Scratchings' Christmas campaign poster which shows the words etched on the side of a grey car

The ‘Senseless Scratchings’ Christmas campaign poster

  • Keep items out of view. Remove items from your vehicle whenever you leave it unattended. Even items such as loose change or a coat can tempt a thief.
  • Don’t leave any shopping bags or presents on view within your vehicle. Where possible, take them with you. If not, then keep them locked away, out of sight, in the boot of your vehicle.
  • Lock all doors and windows. Most insurance companies will not cover thefts if the vehicle was not locked.
  • Use your alarm or immobiliser, or, use an anti-theft device such as a steering wheel lock.
  • Fit an anti-theft device for audio equipment. If your stereo is fitted with a ‘faceoff’ then this should be removed from the vehicle.
  • Keep your sat nav safe. Remove satellite navigation devices and their holders, as well as the marks the holders often leave behind on windscreens. Don’t leave your satellite navigation device in the glove compartment or under the seat – take it with you.
  • Mark your satellite navigation equipment with your postcode and house number or your vehicle registration number, using special security markers. You can also register it for free on the national property database, www.immobilise.com

Posters reminding motorists to keep items out of view in their vehicles are being distributed around local communities and car parks.

To help reduce any damage that can also be caused to the outside of your vehicle, for example having wing mirrors broken or body work scratched, motorists are also advised:

  • If you park your vehicle on the road, remember to tuck your wing mirrors in at night
  • If you have a garage or driveway, then use them to park your vehicles
  • Report anything suspicious in your neighbourhood
  • If you hear a car alarm in your neighbourhood, and it doesn’t turn off after a short time, check to see if you can see anything suspicious. It could be that the car has been damaged / broken into, and the owner isn’t around. If you see or hear anything suspicious, report it to us by phoning 101.
  • If you live in the Gwent Police area, then you can also sign up to OWL – Online Watch Link. By signing up to Owl, and becoming a member of a local Neighbourhood Watch scheme, you can receive up to date information from your local officers, including crime prevention advice, appeals for information and warnings. To sign up, please visit www.owl.co.uk/gwent.

    'The Window Shoppers' Christmas campaign poster showing a snow globe with a car seat covered in presents in the middle

    ‘The Window Shoppers’ Christmas campaign poster

South Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable Julian Kirby said:

“People use their cars to go to lots of different places in a short space of time over the Christmas period, whether they are travelling to buy presents or see family.

“Most people are aware of the need to be vigilant with their vehicles, but it is worth giving a reminder at what is a very busy time of the year.

“Even if you are only leaving your car for a few minutes, don’t give any would-be thieves the opportunity. Valuable items such as your shopping or sat navs should not be left in view. Also, lock your car securely, and park sensibly to prevent any damage.”

Assistant Chief Constable for Gwent, Simon Prince said:

“Most thieves are opportunists and items left on view for passers-by are often enough to tempt them. To help keep your belongings safe, and in particular any presents that you are buying, always remember to keep them out of view, preferably in the boot.”

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