Warning to motorists after steep rise in vehicle crime

Ipswich police today warned motorists to keep their cars, vans, and lorries secure at all times after vehicle crime rocketed by 50 per cent.

Between September and November there were 299 reports of theft from vehicles in the town compared to 198 during the same period last year, according to police figures.

Over the coming weeks officers in Ipswich will be conducting dedicated covert and overt patrols around the town, in areas considered recent ‘hotspots’ where they have seen a higher than normal level of car crime.

Detective Inspector Angus Moir of the Territorial Support Team said, “Anything left on view in a vehicle is inviting to a criminal.

“We rely heavily on information received from the public. Not only are we asking people to be more vigilant about their car security but we would also like to hear from anyone who notices suspicious activity around vehicles.

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Calls should be made to Suffolk Police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If anyone sees a crime in progress they should call 999 immediately.”

Items with serial numbers, like mobile phones, sat navs and stereos, can be registered with Immobilise – www.immobilise.com.

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This national database is used by most police forces, including Suffolk.

In addition, property should be marked. Safer Neighbourhood Teams and Neighbourhood Watch groups often hold property-marking events, or kits can be purchased to do it yourself.

Motorists are advised to:

Lock the doors and close the windows when you leave the car, even for a short time.

Don’t leave anything on display.

Remove the stereo/CD player/chargers/sat nav cradles if you can, put the aerial down, and tuck in the wing mirrors to discourage vandals.

Never store your car’s documents in the car.

An approved immobiliser/steering lock can help secure older vehicles.

Think about having the windows etched with the car’s registration number.

Make a note of the chassis number.

Keep your car keys in a safe place.

Park in a garage if you have one or in a well-lit public place.

Further information is available from the local crime reduction officers on 01473 613500.

Have you been affected by vehicle crime? E-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or write to Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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