Saturday, 2 November 2013

Crimestoppers November

The clocks went back recently, and the extra hour in bed was very welcome! What a pity that then leads to dark evenings, dark mornings and Christmas! As the darkness can make life so much easier for would-be thieves, motorists are being reminded to avoid leaving any valuable items in their vehicles.

Even though they are cheaper than ever, SatNavs are still a villain’s favourite – and especially with Christmas just around the corner. The tell tale circle on the windscreen left by the plastic sucker may be enough to have the car broken open.  Even a plastic bag on the back seat can be tempting. It may only contain your children’s school things and leftover packed lunch, but the villain does not know that until he breaks in.

Cars are now far more hi-tech than ever. However, glass will still break just as easily as 30 years ago, so it only takes seconds to get in and out of a vehicle. Loose change, sunglasses, a forgotten mobile phone, or a nice jacket on the back seat are all an open invitation to the would-be thief. Laptop and notebook/tablet computers are all getting smaller and lighter, and very easy to forget and leave in a car by accident.

You may have got a nice new phone as a free upgrade from your provider, however a replacement handset can actually cost several hundred pounds if you don’t have it insured and your contract isn’t due for renewal.

Please look after your valuables and take them out of your vehicle whenever possible. Thieves know that handbags are often concealed under the front passenger seat, so don’t be surprised that ‘your’ hiding place has been compromised! It is also possible for a thief, given enough time and inclination, to get into the boot of a car. Although using the boot will slow a would-be intruder down, leaving valuables overnight in a vehicle is not ideal.

If you have a works van, which simply isn’t practical to empty every night, please consider additional heavy-duty locks, a good alarm system, and security mark your tools so they can be traced if the worst should happen.

Remember, replacing your glass can be an expensive job as insurance excesses have increased over recent years. Your contribution to the cost of a broken window (if this is covered on your insurance policy) could be as much as £100 – a lot of money before you’ve even started replacing your stolen items.

If you’ve information about any crime, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, or log on to www.crimestoppers-uk.org and remain anonymous. You can also follow me on twitter @HantsCrimestopp for regular updates.

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