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As Autumn gets underway, Police in the New Forest are warning drivers not to leave valuables in their car.
More residents and visitors are expected to be out and about for walks in the forest at this time of the year and that oftens means a rise in the number of car break-ins and thefts – but the Safer New Forest Partnership hopes drivers will take action to discourage thieves from striking.
It advises drivers and their passengers to remove all valuable items – including coats, CDs, mobiles and laptops – from their parked vehicles and to lock their vehicle securely.
New Forest Chief Inspector Tony Rowlinson said:
“We do not want visitors to become a victim of car crime. Additional police patrols are in force to disrupt criminal activity and to make those using the forest car parks aware of ways in which they can reduce their chances of becoming a victim.
“We would like to offer some simple crime prevention measures:
-Always secure your car. It sounds basic, but always lock your car, even if you are only leaving it for a few moments. If your car has central locking, please physically check doors as there are devices currently in use which may interfere with your locking system.
-Do not leave property in your car. Thefts of personal belongings from cars account for two-thirds of vehicle crime. However, you can outsmart the criminal by not leaving anything in your car. If it’s not there it can’t be stolen.
-Think about parking. Think about where you are and what you could do to make your car more secure. If you can, park in forest car parks in view of the road, park in busy areas or in well-lit surroundings, especially at night.
-Let’s work together. If you see suspicious people around you or a vehicle acting suspiciously, please report it to the Police using 101 or 999.
“Please enjoy your time spent in the New Forest, with the reassurance that everything possible is being done to combat car crime.”
A bright yellow Hampshire Constabulary notice is available which can be displayed in vehicles stating:
‘No valuables have been left in this vehicle.’
They are available, free of charge, by popping into your local information office or by contacting Community Safety co-ordinator Stephanie Bennett at Safer New Forest, New Forest District Council, Appletree Court, Lyndhurst. SO43 7PA.
Tel. 023 8028 5588 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Log on to www.communitysafety.newforest.gov.uk and find out what is being done to make your community a safer place for everyone.