Safety tips after car crime spike

Theft from a motor vehicle
Theft from a motor vehicle

Police have issued safety advice to residents after a string of thefts from cars in the borough.

Officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) took to social media to warn people in the borough to take steps to ensure that their vehicles were secure.

Officers are putting into place measures to try and combat these crimes, but in the meantime, please don’t make it easy on them, and avoid becoming a victim

A post uploaded to the GMP Leigh, Atherton and Hindley page said: “We are currently experiencing a spike in the number of thefts from motor vehicles in the area, particularly on the Garton Drive and Laburnum Road estates.

“Most of the thefts are still occurring from insecure cars.

“As ever please can we remind you to take care to lock your vehicles, and remove any valuables before you leave them.

“Unfortunately, opportunist criminals will steal anything, even the change in your ashtray.”

It goes on to say: “Patrols are being made aware, and local officers are putting into place measures to try and combat these crimes, but in the meantime, please don’t make it easy on them, and avoid becoming a victim.”

Police recommend several precautionary measures to prevent vehicle crime, from the obvious steps such as closing the sunroof and removing everything from the car, to making sure any car ownership information is left in the home instead of the car itself.

Officers also recommend that when not at home, drivers look for car parks approved by the police Safer Parking scheme, which are indentifiable by their distinctive Park Mark signs.

More experienced criminals will also break into houses to look for car keys. They can also use wires and hooks to try and drag your keys through the letterbox. Therefore, police recommend keeping keys away from doors and windows, and tucked away out of sight.

It has also been suggested to have one of your car’s windows etched with your license plater or registration numbers, which can put criminals off as it makes a car harder to sell.

In April the issue made headlines after Peter Smith had his prosthetic arm stolen after he left it in his car overnight.

Peter, 35, had accidentally left his car unlocked, and found his belongings strewn across his driveway in the morning by the callous thieves, who also took his entire centre console.

For more information on keeping your car safe from opportunist thieves, visit police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/vehicle-crime.