An area of Leighton Buzzard has been highlighted as being one of worst seven areas in Bedfordshire for theft from motor vehicle offences.
During a clamp down on vehicle crime, which ran from July 10-16, Beds Police targeted their activity on the locations which statistics show have suffered the highest prevalence of theft from vehicles in the last year.
The seven areas Operation Mya focused on were Leighton Buzzard’s Grovebury ward, the Luton wards of South Lewsey, Marsh Farm, Lewsey, and South Town, plus Putnoe and Marston Moretaine.
During the week, officers and PCSOs patrolled the seven areas and identified vehicles that were vulnerable to crime; either by being left insecure with windows open or doors unlocked, or where property had been left on show in the vehicle. In total, 350 vehicles were found to be insecure.
Sgt Ben Dimmock from the force’s Crime Reduction Team said: “This many vehicles being left insecure is obviously a concern, and something we will be addressing moving forward.
“The Crime Reduction Team are now in the process of writing to the registered owner of each vehicle to offer advice about how to keep their vehicle and belongings safer. I hope we will be able to hold some crime prevention surgeries in each area in the future.
“We have seen an upward trend in vehicle crime offences, and we remain committed to reducing this as we are aware of the impact it has on communities. To make things more difficult for criminals I would urge residents to take steps to ensure their vehicles are secure by making sure they are locked, and by removing valuable items.
In light of the results, the force is urging residents to follow the advice below to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of crime:
> Don’t leave things on show in your car, whether it’s an expensive laptop or just some loose change. Even items of clothing can attract thieves, as they may think that there will be money in the pockets.
> Don’t leave valuables in the glove-box of your car. To prove to would-be thieves that it’s empty, you can empty your glove-box and leave it open when you leave your vehicle.
> Park your vehicle in a well-lit spot that is visible to other members of the public, or covered by CCTV
> At home, don’t keep your car keys next to your front door or in an obvious place
> Keep motorcycles in a locked garage or shed, or failing that, chained securely to an immovable object