Raiders thwarted: 260 fewer cars broken into

POLICE are celebrating a cut in car crime in Calderdale.

There were 265 fewer reports of cars being broken into between April 2010 and March 2011 compared to the year before.

But they are warning there are still steps people need to make to ensure they do not fall victim to thieves.

Detective Chief Inspector Terry Long, from Calderdale CID, said; “Car-crime levels in Halifax town centre are relatively low, thanks to the work local officers carry out alongside our partners.

“There have been some significant recent successes in identifying, arresting and convicting vehicle offenders who have admitted their responsibility in breaking into hundreds of vehicles.

“Over 35 per cent of all vehicles broken into have resulted in offences being detected.

“The offenders who are prolific are now being regularly monitored by police and other agencies to ensure they do not return to their criminal past.”

He said the thefts from cars in this district were often from the outside of vehicles.

“Within Calderdale, approximately 40 per cent of vehicles are targeted for items such as registration plates, wheel trims, headlights and wing mirrors, rather than anything inside the car.

“Around 35 per cent of vehicles are broken into by force, with the remaining 25 per cent left insecure by owners or entered by unknown means.

“That said, motorists can reduce that risk further by taking simple security steps such as ensuring your vehicle is locked and secure, using an alarm, and by not leaving any property on show.

“To counter those thefts where property is stolen from outside a vehicle, we would recommend parking in areas monitored by CCTV, well-lit areas or in locations where your vehicle is clearly visible to the public.

“At this time of year, the pressures of the festive season are such that there is a need to be increasingly vigilant.”

The police are also urging people to always remove ignition keys and lock their cars, no matter how briefly they intend to leave it, and to never leave documents such as driving licences or registration documents in a car. Thieves may try to use them to trick the police if they are stopped and could try to sell them.

Drivers can also turn their wheels towards the kerb to make it extra difficult to tow away and, especially for older models, use a security device to lock steering wheels.