Number of car thefts reported in Hertfordshire continues to rise
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Hertfordshire police has confirmed that the number of vehicle-related thefts has increased in the county for the second consecutive year.
Last year there was an eight per cent increase in car thefts, this year the total has risen by 22 per cent.
Drivers are being advised to make sure their cars and vans are secure this spring.
Hertfordshire Constabulary has noted that most of the items stolen were left in vehicles whilst they were unattended, or thefts of catalytic converters, which are still being targeted for the precious metals they contain.
Detective Superintendent Nev Hanks, said: “Many of the thefts reported occurred when the vehicles were left unlocked, so leaving valuable items on display in a vehicle will encourage opportunistic thieves to check if a vehicle is secure.
"Removing any items which may encourage a thief, such as bags, boxes, coats or loose change is an easy way to make your vehicle safer. I would also urge the public to follow our advice, remain vigilant and report suspicious incidents in their neighbourhood, particularly where people are trying to get under cars in public car parks or on public roads. If you see this happening, please call 999 immediately.”
The police has provided a list of tips on how residents can prevent their vehicles from being targeted:
-”Lock your car whenever it is left unattended and keep it in a garage when parked at night if possible.
-”Never leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running, even if you are defrosting your windows.
-”When using a garage is not possible, park close to fences, walls or a kerb with the exhaust being closest to the fence, wall or kerb to make theft difficult.
-”Consider fitting CCTV on your home or driveway, to help deter thieves.
-”Use PIR or LED security lighting to make your vehicle more visible and this can also act as a deterrent.
-”If your catalytic converter is bolted on, consider having the bolts welded to make removal difficult.
-”Fit protective coverings on catalytic converters, such as the Toyota manufactured CATLOC device, (these are made for Toyota Prius made between 2004 and 2009) as these can make it much more difficult for thieves.
-”Have your catalytic converter etched or forensically marked and put stickers in the windscreen to say this has been done.
-”Look for car parks with a Secured Car Park sign which have recognised levels of security. If you have a garage at home, ensure you use it and lock it properly.
-”Noisy gravel on your drive can help deter a would-be thief, as they don’t want to alert you to their approach.
-”Never leave valuable items or tools on display in your vehicle as this may encourage a thief to break in”
Crimes can also be reported on Hertfordshire Constabulary’s website here, the force has a webchat option online too, and residents can use the non-emergency number 101.
Crimes can be reported anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or on its website.
To receive alerts from the police citizens can download the ‘owl crime alert’ app, more information on the service can be found online.