Hampshire police launch crackdown on vehicle crime

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POLICE are focusing on crooks who target vehicles in east Hampshire in a crackdown.

Officers are campaigning to raise awareness and highlight ways drivers can avoid becoming a victim of vehicle crime.

Inspector Rachel Upfold said: ‘The simple advice to motorists is, when leaving your car, close all windows, lock your doors and remove all valuable items.

‘Unfortunately a lot of people put their valuables in the boot or in footwells and even though they are out of sight, they are by no means safe.

‘During July, August and September 2011, there were 10 thefts from vehicles at rural beauty spots in Winchester and East Hampshire.

‘Victims of these sorts of crimes leave their cars in quiet, rural car parks and go off for walks with their dogs, families or friends, only to return and find that their car has been broken in to and their valuables stolen.

‘The victims are left shocked and upset as well as out of pocket.’

Police are to conduct a series of operations in the area in a bid to snare those responsible for vehicle crime.

The campaign will also see officers holding awareness events at car parks and beauty spots throughout the policing district.

They will be offering crime prevention advice to motorists as well as handing out drawstring rucksacks people can use to store valuables in while they go out and about and enjoy the countryside, rather than leave them in their vehicle.

Posters will be displayed in car parks and motorists will also be offered signs to leave on their dashboard, informing would be thieves that there are no valuables inside.