Warning after caravan thefts

People are being urged to secure their caravans following thefts in Fenland.

Since the beginning of the month three have been stolen, two in Barton Road, Wisbech St Mary, on April 19, and one in Back Drove, Murrow, between April 6 and April 10.

Crime Reduction Officer Julie Hanrahan said: “With the nice weather approaching, I’d urge caravan owners to check they have the correct security measures in place. We have had a few thefts in the area in the past few weeks and there are ways of preventing them happening in future.”

The following advice will help to reduce the risk of becoming a victim:

· Immobilise your caravan - a large number of caravans are stolen annually from service areas. Use hitch locks, heavy-duty chains, good quality padlocks with a short shackle, locking wheel nuts/wheel clamps.

· Lock the gas compartment or padlock the cylinders to fixing clamps.

· Consider fitting a tracking device - the likelihood of recovering your caravan in a short period of time is increased.

· Fit an alarm and use it when the caravan is not in use, even for a short time.

· Mark all property with your postcode or other unique number linked to a recognised database, and take all valuables with you when you leave, do not leave items on display. Take photographs of your caravan and internal fittings, do not leave registration documents in the caravan and consider painting the vehicle registration on the roof of the caravan.

· If using a caravan park or storage areas look for one that has obtained a police “Secured by design” award.

· Caravan security marking helps police to identify stolen caravans and can put off thieves. Since 1992 all National Caravan Council recognised manufacturers have stamped the 17 digit vehicle identification number (VIN) on the vehicle chassis and etched it into the windows. If your windows are not marked consider doing so and mark the VIN on the inside of the caravan in several hidden places. For further information visit -

· Buying a new caravan? Ask about built in security features, since 1997 most will have security tags installed.

· Also, if buying consider checking the caravan details with the Caravan registration and Identification Scheme (CRIS) telephone 01722 411 430 or https://webmail/owa/press.office@cambs.pnn.police.uk/redir.aspx?C=81dcb317f6c94670877085619bfd1eda&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.crischeck.com%2f.

· Try to verify the seller’s identity, be cautious if the seller meets you away from home and be wary of temporary or handwritten number plates.

· Do not be tempted to hand over cash without confirmation of their identity. Does the registration on their vehicle match the one on the caravan?

· Use the Internet, there are various websites giving information on buying a caravan and caravan security.

· If in doubt – don’t buy it.