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January

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Only yesterday, I was catching up on the Community Safety Partnership’s December report on Daventry crime. There was a bitter/sweet message that whilst thefts from vehicle had increased, the majority of that increase has been outside Daventry District which has seen a more moderate rise of 1.6%, keeping it one of the safer places in the county.

However, there is dismaying news to buck that trend this morning as the crime sheet shows an unprecedented series of vehicle crime over the past two days with eleven vehicle crimes on the rural patch and three in the town. There are some common themes, and I wanted to share these with our community so that whilst we investigate the crimes, you can assist by firstly being aware of the problems and trend, and secondly, ensuring that you don’t inadvertently make your vehicle attractive to thieves. I always worry about unduly increasing people’s fear of crime, but the feedback

I’ve had from recent communications has shown an appreciation across our community, of us candidly updating you on trends and advising how to prevent becoming a victim of that crime trend. So I produce this update which will be circulated via our various methods of contact. I reiterate that this series is unusual which is why I take the step of listing the crimes reported to us (and I am aware that some people don’t report crimes, so the problem may be worse). Rural vehicle crimes appear to be targeting predominantly commercial vehicles (for tools and plant) by force.

The town crimes appear to be targeting potentially insecure vehicles with property on view or accessible.

Rural crimes

 Weedon, Lancers Way – van moved from secure position, plant/tools stolen
 Weedon, Regency Close
– van window smashed, nothing stolen
 Weedon, Riverside Drive
– van window smashed, nothing stolen
 Weedon, Kings Park
– car window smashed, small change stolen, alarm activated
 Weedon, West Street
– car window smashed, nothing stolen
 Long Buckby, Spencer Road
– van window smashed, nothing stolen
 Newnham, Coronation Road
– van tampered with, nothing stolen
 Whilton, Brington Lane
– insecure car entered – items stolen
 West Haddon, Morrison Park Road
– van window smashed, nothing stolen
 Pitsford, Manor Road
– insecure car entered – handbag stolen from footwell
 Moulton, Doves Lane –
entry forced to van – tool safe stolen

Town Crimes

 Christchurch Drive – cash stolen from insecure car
 The Greenway
– insecure car entered – nothing stolen
 Tennyson Road
– iPod and small change stolen from insecure car

Key message
Please help us nip this trend in the bud by following the advice which I give in the light of the crimes that have occurred.

 Ensure all vehicles are locked. You may invalidate your insurance by not securing your vehicle.

 Leave nothing on display. You may You may know that the carrier bag on the back seat has (say) your gym kit in it, but the thief won’t. You may think that£20 worth of small change on display in the ashtray is minimal, but the thief won’t. You may have innocently left the charging lead dangling between the seats. However the thief will target the car to see if there is an electronic device attached to the other end!

 If you have a commercial van with tools in it, these vehicles are traditionally safe parked around our District other than at key locations. However, for the time being, consider making your tools and plant safer and leaving a notice visible to indicate that there is nothing of value left in the van overnight. Consider alarming your vehicle. For a relatively small amount (less than £50), you can purchase a movement detector which takes a SIM card which you can set (like a car alarm) which will text you and sound a 90dB siren when activated

 Keep an eye on your neighbour’s vehicle and report anything suspicious –you will not be criticised for reporting suspicious circumstances via 999. That’s what the emergency number is for. If you are victim of such a crime, please do report it. I know it is easy to ignore car alarms due to false alarms, but at the time being, I ask that if an alarm sounds, it is investigated. One of the Weedon victims reported a suspicious car leaving the area when the alarm sounded. Nearly all the other crimes have only been discovered by victims returning to their vehicle.

We have officers out in the community today following up leads, and officers promoting the prevention messages. I am aware that, other than our dwellings, a car or vehicle is often someone’s next-most-valuable asset. I’m equally aware of the hassle in having to have auto-glass replaced/repaired. That is why I wanted to share this information with you so you can help keep our District safe from harm. Thank you in anticipation.

With best wishes for a safe 2017

Yours faithfully

SAM DOBBS

District Sergeant