Dated: 25 Nov 2010
Police are tackling car crime in the run up to Christmas this year with the help of Operation Elf.
Police and Community Support Officers (CSOs) are targeting car parks while they patrol the busy retail shopping areas in North Tyneside to reassure shoppers and deter thieves.
Officers are reminding drivers to take security measures to avoid becoming a victim of a crime. This is part of Northumbria Police's crackdown on crime in the run-up to Christmas and into New Year under the banner 'Don't let thieves steal your Christmas'.
CSOs will look for any vehicles with valuable items seen on display whether they are newly bought Christmas shopping or other items already in use such as a portable sat nav, mobile phones or laptops. Officers will note down the car's registration number and the owner will get a telephone call or a letter from police advising them that their vehicle could be a risk of being targeted by opportunist thieves and providing timely crime prevention advice.
Detective Inspector Adrian Tallantyre said: "We know that for many people this is a very busy time of year and crime prevention may not be on their minds. This is why officers are helping residents and visitors out by providing extra patrols and extra eyes focusing on known car crime offenders in a bid to keep crime down.
"Most of these types of crime are preventable and we want to remind Christmas shoppers in particular never leave shopping on display in your car - it's an open invitation to thieves.
"By following these simple crime prevention tips, our residents and visitors can prevent themselves from falling victim to crime and stop thieves from stealing their Christmas presents. We don’t want criminals to ruin what should be a happy time of year."
Keep your vehicle safe:
• Think about where you park - use well-lit places or secure car parks if possible
• Remove sat nav systems and their holders when you leave your car - and remove the watermark
• Do not leave mobile phones, iPods or other valuables on display in your car
• If you need to store shopping in your car temporarily, conceal it in the boot
• Remove detachable radios and CD players
• Use a security lock or other deterrent if possible
• Never leave car documents or spare keys inside the car
• Keep doors and windows locked while driving