Lock it up Warn Community Safety Bosses

Kevin Horkin, chairman of the Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership, and Sgt Geoff Warburton of Clitheroe Police. Published Thursday, 17 April 2014

Motorists in Ribble Valley are being warned to lock their vehicles after a spate of thefts from insecure cars and vans.

Recent figures have revealed that almost 70 per cent of thefts from vehicles in the borough last year – 180 – were from those that were unlocked.

Kevin Horkin, chairman of the Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership, said: “Of the reported thefts from cars and vans, nearly three-quarters were from vehicles that had been left unlocked.

“Thieves are targeting unlocked vehicles to steal phones, satnavs, tablet devices and laptop computers.

“We have also had reports of cars being entered to take small change or sports bags, while thieves are targeting vans to steal power tools or copper pipe.

“Although these figures are relatively low, locking vehicles can go a long way in deterring opportunistic thieves and ensuring Ribble Valley remains one of the safest places in the UK.”

Ribble Valley geographical police inspector Hassan Khan added: “Ribble Valley does have low crime levels, but we should all still be taking sensible steps to protect our property.

“We are asking motorists to take a few seconds to lock their vehicles and ensure they have not left anything on view.

“Residents who see anyone trying car door handles or acting suspiciously around cars or vans is asked to call 999 straight away.”

Motorists are advised that insurers may not pay out for property stolen from an insecure vehicle.

Top tips to combat theft from vehicles:

  • Keep loose change in a closed ashtray. A desperate thief will smash a side window worth £80 to steal small change
  • Handbags, leather jackets, wallets, laptops and shopping should never be left on view, but locked in the boot
  • Lock portable satnavs in the boot and wipe any suction marks from the windscreen
  • Keep the inside of the vehicle tidy, as an untidy vehicle containing opened mail or plastic bags may attract the curiosity of a thief
  • If there is nothing in the glove compartment, leave it open to view
  • Remove the facia of your sound system if it has one and use the PIN facility