Police, Fire & Court

Police warning for Wirral car owners after mini crime wave

By Mary Wells

Police in Wirral are issuing advice to car owners following a number of thefts from vehicles in the last week.

Community Inspector Georgina Minnery said: “We are encouraging people to be more vigilant when leaving cars unattended and we are also targeting suspects we believe could be involved in this type of crime.

“If you notice a car has been opened, please check CCTV if you have it and report it even if nothing has been taken.

“Remember to lock car doors, and do not leave any valuables on show or in your vehicle at all overnight. If you see anything suspicious, please contact police.

“Officers work alongside analysts to look at hotspot areas for this type of crime across the force and will direct resources accordingly. As well as working with partner agencies, to tackle this type of crime – for example improving street lighting, we regularly carry out roads policing operations, whereby we stop cars and check ownership details. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) is also employed to help officers to detect, deter and disrupt this type of criminality.

This type of crime is often committed by opportunistic thieves and simple steps such as locking your car, parking in a well-lit area and making sure keys are kept secure and away from letter boxes can help reduce the risk of being targeted.”

“Most thieves are opportunists and they will take advantage when people have left their car window open or a door unlocked and there are valuables or items on display.

“Car manufacturers have made vehicle security an increasing priority with the introduction of sophisticated alarm systems to prevent thieves from gaining access to them. But these systems are a waste of time if they are not used. It only takes a few seconds to remove items on display in your car then lock it. Those seconds can make a massive difference.

“Despite the warnings, lots of the reported thefts are from cars which have been left unlocked, which makes it easy for offenders to take anything that is readily to hand. By double checking your car is secure and setting the alarm, even if you are only going to leave it for a couple of minutes, you will be much less likely to become a victim of crime.”

Motorists are being offered the following advice:

• Most vehicle crime is preventable. It can take as little as 10 seconds for a thief to steal something from your car. If at all possible, leave nothing on view

• Never leave valuable items in your car, including sunglasses, the removable radio cover and your Sat Nav. Do you really need all those things you keep in the glove box?

• Wipe away the Sat Nav mark on your windscreen

• Never leave your car keys where they can be seen from the front door

• Always close the windows and sunroof; lock the doors and activate any security devices when leaving your car unattended

• Park with care, particularly at night or if you are leaving the vehicle for a long time. If possible, park in a busy, well-lit area

• Never leave cash, credit cards, chequebook, mobile phones, vehicle documents or other valuables in the car

• Never leave your keys in the car, even for a second – treat them as you would your cash and credit cards

• Try to avoid parking your vehicle in quiet side roads where offenders are able to act unobserved and ensure all doors and windows are secured when leaving the vehicle.

• Never leave goods, clothing or even empty carrier bags or containers in the vehicle

• Take all your belongings with you, or if you can’t, lock them in the boot. Mobile phones, Sat Navs and credit cards are often stolen from glove boxes
Anyone with information can contact the social media desk @MerPolCC, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or anyone who would like crime prevention advice can contact 101.