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Lowestoft car crime spirals

PUBLISHED: 12:57 11 September 2009 | UPDATED: 12:04 06 July 2010

NEW figures highlight a worrying spate of vehicle crime across Lowestoft.

Reported car and van crime in the Harbour and Kirkley wards has spiralled by 79pc on last year.

new figures highlight a worrying spate of vehicle crime across Lowestoft.

Reported car and van crime in the Harbour and Kirkley wards has spiralled by 79pc on last year.

A new initiative has been launched in the town as Suffolk police urge motorists to lock their vehicles and remove valuables.

A car crime poster has hit the streets warning motorists not to make it easy for thieves to help themselves.

And, next week, The Journal will team up with police and Lowestoft Crime Prevention Panel to run a vehicle security competition with a cash prize.

Suffolk police spokeswoman Anne-Marie Breach said: “A number of measures are being taken to try to address these incidents, but key is urging locals to remove valuable items - bags, satellite navigation systems, car stereos, tools, mobile phones, spare cash and anything else that may be attractive to thieves from their vehicles.

“In many of the vehicle crime incidents, particularly in Carlton Colville earlier this year, there was no forced entry. It's thought that in some of these cases drivers had thought they had remotely locked their cars but in reality they were actually unlocked, making it easy for criminals to enter and steal items.

“If there had been nothing to steal left inside, the thief would have left empty-handed.”

Top tips to combat car crooks include:

> Think about where you are parking. Thieves prefer dimly-lit places with few passers-by, so choose a brightly-lit street or properly managed car park with CCTV cover.

> Don't leave items on view in your car. A handbag hidden under a seat is an easy target, as is a satellite navigation system or a car stereo.

> Don't forget to lock car doors, close windows and secure sunroofs - and never leave keys in the ignition.

> If you have a garage, use it, but still lock your vehicle.

> Activate your steering lock or use a relatively inexpensive but highly visible mechanical lock inside your vehicle - it may deter a thief from even trying to steal your car.

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

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