News Release

Police keep motorists posted

Dated: 06 Feb 2012

An image of a Sat Nav left in a car

Motorists who leave items on display are being sent letters warning them of the dangers of opportunist thieves.

Patrolling police officers and Community Support Officers in Newcastle city centre are keeping a look out for vehicles with valuables left on view which could be attractive to thieves.

Once a vulnerable vehicle is spotted, the registration number is noted and a letter is forwarded to the registered keeper offering crime prevention advice.

The scheme warns motorists of the dangers of leaving items - such as mobile phones, cash and sat navs - on display. It's being carried out following a number of thefts from cars in the city centre where property has been left on show.

Newcastle City Neighbourhood Sergeant Lesley Wheatley said: "The city centre is always busy with people coming here for business or pleasure together with those people who live in the city.

"Many people bring their cars and while the city centre is a safe place for people to park their vehicles there have been some recent reports of thefts from cars.

"In a lot of cases it appears opportunity thieves have taken advantage when they've seen expensive items left on display. Stolen items include sat nav systems, mobile phone and MP3 players which have been left on view.

"In response we're sending letters to people who've left items on display reminding them of the importance of keeping their vehicles safe, which is hoped will mean next time they'll be more careful.

"By taking crime prevention steps, together with our continued enforcement activity and patrols, we can reduce the number of thefts taking place."

As part of the enforcement activity a 27-year-old man was charged with theft from a motor vehicle, while a 29-year-old was cautioned for going equipped for theft.

Security tips to prevent car crime include never leaving the keys in the ignition, this is particularly relevant in winter when people are de-icing their vehicles, always lock the car, think about where it's being parked - always look for busy well-lit spots and secure parking facilities, fit a good alarm and warning stickers and don't leave anything on display.

More information about vehicle security is HERE