Vehicle Security Advice – Operation Advent
As many people are now starting to do their Christmas shopping, GMP is raising awareness of vehicle security due to thieves being on the lookout for cars laden with gifts, or those parked in insecure locations.
Although vehicle crime has fallen by 17 per cent across Greater Manchester in the last 10 years, there were still 1,598 incidents in December 2011, with 447 involving vehicles being stolen while the remainder saw items stolen from cars.
GMP Crime Reduction Specialist Darron Tickle said: “In the weeks leading up to Christmas when people are out shopping, car thieves are out looking for gifts and valuables left in unattended vehicles.
“To avoid becoming a victim of car crime, motorists should park in secure or well-lit areas wherever possible. They should also close all windows, set any security devices and remove all valuables, especially sat navs and their mounting cradles. All doors should be locked and checked manually, as automatic locking devices can sometimes suffer from interference.
“If you must leave your vehicle unattended with Christmas shopping inside, make sure you lock it in the boot out of sight, and it’s worth remembering that some stores will keep gifts for you so you can collect them later.”
Police are also urging motorists to register valuables at www.immobilise.com and to security mark them with their postcode and house number or vehicle registration number.
To prevent hook-and-cane thefts, householders should not leave keys on view and should make sure they are kept away from doors or windows.
Under Operation Advent, police are focusing on a number of crimes that can increase in the run up to Christmas, such as burglary, car crime, handling and dealing stolen goods, robbery, shoplifting and theft.
Other offences that are an issue around this time of year include drink and drug driving, alcohol-fuelled violence and antisocial behaviour, domestic abuse and sex crimes.
People can follow what police are doing for Operation Advent on GMP’s social media networks that include Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and audioBoo. All related tweets on Twitter will contain the hash tag #advent
They can also use these sites to find out what officers are doing to fight crime in their neighbourhood, comment on police activity and get advice on how they can keep themselves and their property safe from criminals.
In addition, there will be an Advent calendar on the GMP website throughout December that will feature short daily video clips of officers giving seasonal crime prevention advice.
For non-emergency calls or to report a crime call police on 101, or for more information visit gmp.police.uk
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Crimestoppers is an independent charity that will not want your name, just your information. Your call will not be traced or recorded and you do not have to go to court or give a statement.