Don’t leave Christmas presents in your car

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MOTORISTS are being urged not to leave any Christmas presents in their vehicles while shopping for thieves to steal over the festive period.

It may be tempting to leave purchases in your car during long shopping trips or leave them in the vehicle after a day hitting the sales, but police are warning people to be vigilant and remove temptation for thieves looking to cash in on unattended valuables.

It is the latest warning in the police Christmas Crackdown on Crime. Working with CitisafeRadio Link, the SaferPeterborough Partnership and Queensgate, officers are taking action to fight festive crime.

Officers are also urging drivers to remove other valuables such as Sat Navs from their vehicles, and ensure they clear marks from windscreens to deter criminals from breaking in to search for them.

Dusters, provided by Cirisafe, will be handed out by officers in Cathedral Square, Peterborough, tomorrow (Saturday) which motorists can use to remove traces of the Sat Nav suckers, and a vehicle, specially created to remind people not to leave items in their vehicle, will be parked in Queensgate shopping centre, City Council car parks and NCP car parks in the run up to Christmas.

Between November 1 and December 31 last year there were 23 thefts from vehicles in the city centre, and this year has already seen a 40% reduction in vehicle crime compared to last year.

Sergeant Nikki Hall said: “By working with Queensgate and other partners throughout the year, we have managed to reduce vehicle crime in the city centre to its lowest for four years. However, we do not want people to become complacent – especially at Christmas.

“It can be tempting when out Christmas shopping to take some of bags back to your car, but it is worth remembering that at this time of year thieves are also on the look out for an easy target.

“Sucker marks from Sat Navs left on the windscreen may also encourage a thief to break-in and see if the devise is in the glove box or under the seat – make sure you remove the Sat Nav and also use our dusters to wipe off the mark, and take other items, such as mobile phones and laptops, with you.”

Graham Burr, from not-for-profit organisation Citisafe, said: “Working with the police means retailers can help reduce the number of vehicle crime instances in the county – and in turn, means more people will come to the city to do their Christmas shopping.”

Gary Goose, Strategic Manager for the SaferPeterborough partnership, said: “Peterborough is experiencing less crime than ever before and car crime shows the greatest reduction. The city is a safe place to visit and this initiative is a reminder that motorists can do their bit to ensure the reduction we have experienced in car crime continues to head in the right direction.”