Police issue warning to vehicle owners


Police - Credit: Archant

POLICE have issued a warning to Uttlesford residents about the importance of locking up vehicles and removing valuable items.

Last month there were 41 offences recorded across the district with 13 of these being thefts from unlocked vehicles – loose change and satnavs the target.

In May, so far there have been 28 offences recorded, 20 of which were in Saffron Walden, and 12 of these were from unlocked vehicles.

Acting Inspector Colin Cox said: “I need members of the public and the local residents to join forces with Essex Police in order to target these offences by ‘doing their bit’ – locking vehicles, removing items of interest.

“I don’t believe these crimes are being committed by hardened criminals – most are simply opportunistic offenders walking past vehicles trying door handles, once an insecurity is found the vehicle is searched and property removed regardless of value.”

Local Neighbourhood Policing team officers have been carrying out vehicle checks in the areas affected and during the weekend of May 17-19 over 260 vehicles in Saffron Walden were checked.

Registered keepers of vehicles which were insecure are being contacted by police and officers have reminded residents that checking vehicles are locked could help halve the number of crimes being recorded.

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Insp Cox added: “Residents are also reminded to mark property such as sat nav’s. Local officers have been carrying out property marking surgeries throughout the district in order to prevent, but also detect theft offences.

“It has been recently highlighted that when good work has been carried out in the form of search warrants and property has been recovered, officers have been unable to link it to any offence or victim of crime and therefore the property is then returned to the suspect. I cannot stress enough the importance of property marking.”

Police officers are continuing to hold property marking surgeries and all residents are welcome to bring items of value for marking at the next planned event in Newport at the beginning of June.