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Get SMART in Waveney - call to motorists

PUBLISHED: 12:59 14 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:48 06 July 2010

MOTORISTS in Waveney are being given the opportunity to "Get SMART" this summer as four special roadshows are held and a new campaign is launched.

The SMART (Stop Motorcrime And Ring Today) crackdown is aiming to encourage drivers to take simple crime reduction measures to prevent thefts of, and thefts from, vehicles.

MOTORISTS in Waveney are being given the opportunity to “Get SMART” this summer as four special roadshows are held and a new campaign is launched.

The SMART (Stop Motorcrime And Ring Today) crackdown is aiming to encourage drivers to take simple crime reduction measures to prevent thefts of, and thefts from, vehicles.

While Suffolk has one of the lowest levels of vehicle crime in the country, police are always working to remind motorists of the need to lock their vehicles and remove valuables, as well as trying to reduce the number of incidents and to catch more offenders.

The special roadshows are being held in the eastern are of Suffolk between Tuesday, July 28 and Friday, July 31 and they will give locals the chance to get crime reduction tips and free advice on protecting your vehicles - cars, vans and motorbikes - from thieves.

The roadshows are held on Tuesday, July 28 at the Tesco store at Beccles; at the Rainbow store at Bungay on Wednesday, July 29; at the Rainbow store at Halesworth Thursday, July 30 and in front of Southwold Pier on Friday, July 31. All events will be held between 9am and 1pm.

The mobile police station will be set up at each location and experts, including Suffolk Constabulary crime reduction officer Bruce Granger, will be on hand to offer help and advice on securing your valuables, with particular reference to how you can prevent your vehicle being targeted.

Visitors to each day will have the opportunity to win a £50 voucher, kindly funded by the 4 Towns Crime Prevention Panel, if they complete a survey and competition form.

You will be able to get windows etched, free of charge, courtesy of Autoglass, at the first two events at Beccles and Bungay. They will also be able to carry out repairs on chipped windscreens, which are normally covered free if you have comprehensive insurance.

Bruce Granger said: “Whether you own a vehicle or not you are welcome along to meet the team and get some crime reduction advice, perhaps to also pass onto friends, family or neighbours who perhaps think they don't need to lock their vehicles or remove valuables.

“It is important that we get this message across. We have recently seen spates of crime where only vehicles that have been left unlocked have been targeted. Breaking into a vehicle can be noisy and dangerous for a thief - they could cut themselves or alert neighbours - whereas just opening the door makes their life much easier.

“Removing valuables from your vehicle is also essential. We get so many reports where people have left bags, iPods, cameras, phones and driving documents on view - providing temptation and reward for an opportunist thief.

“These simple steps can reduce the likelihood of your vehicle being targeted and it's these and other tips that we will be highlighting at the roadshows.

“We like to thank the supermarkets and those at Southwold Pier for supporting our efforts.”

Simple and free measures you can take to prevent vehicle crime include -

If your car is fitted with a removable radio or front plate, take it out.

Security mark all your audio equipment with your postcode. Have index marks or vehicle identification numbers etched on all glass surfaces.

Don't leave documents that may aid the thief, such as your driving licence, MoT and insurance certificate in your vehicle.

Don't leave valuables or other items in your car. A handbag 'hidden' under a seat or a phone left on a seat is an easy target. That coat or newspaper could be hiding a camera or bag - an opportunist thief will break in to take a look. Take valuables with you and lock anything else in the boot.

Don't forget to lock your car doors, close windows and secure your sunroof - and never leave your keys in the ignition. Activate your steering lock.

Anyone who would like further advice can attend any of the roadshows can contact Bruce, Waveney's Crime Reduction Officer (CRO) or their local CRO via the main switchboard on 01473 613500.

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