Res­i­dents start pa­trols af­ter car crime spree

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS - By Stephen Briggs [email protected]­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTstephenB

Po­lice have in­creased night time pa­trols in Peter­bor­ough af­ter a spate of thefts from cars led res­i­dents to be­gin their own overnight pa­trols.

Vil­lagers in Eye took to walk­ing the streets in the early hours of the morn­ing to pre­vent thieves get­ting away with valu­ables from cars.

There has also been a rise in car crime across the city, with res­i­dents in Cardea and the Or­tons re­port­ing prob­lems.

Now of­fi­cers have in­creased their pres­ence to keep prop­erty safe and are urg­ing mo­torists to en­sure their cars are locked when parked up.

But now, Eye res­i­dent Dale McKean, a for­mer Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil­lor said po­lice needed to do more.

He said: “The prob­lems re­ally started at the be­gin­ning of De­cem­ber, when res­i­dents started post­ing about prob­lems on a vil­lage Face­book site.

“Peo­ple had sat navs stolen, and one had a bank card stolen.

“There was so much con­cern peo­ple started go­ing round the vil­lage in the night to try and stop it hap­pen­ing again, but po­lice did not re­spond.

“There were times when peo­ple called 101 to re­port it, but were told a crime had not been com­mit­ted - and we were also told to re­port on­line rather than on 101.

“Peo­ple just want the po­lice to be more re­spon­sive, and to have that one-to-one con­ver­sa­tion with some­one about what hap­pened.

“A lot of peo­ple got CCTV at their homes over De­cem­ber, and there is a lot of in­tel­li­gence po­lice could use that is out there on the in­ter­net now as a re­sult, but they have not spo­ken to any­one about it.”

Cllr Julie How­ell, who rep­re­sents the Orton Water­ville ward, said there had been a num­ber of re­ports of thefts from cars in the area.

She said: “When a car has been tam­pered with word gets round very quickly and res­i­dents un­der­stand­ably be­come anx­ious.

“I’m not sure there is much more the po­lice can do. I know they pa­trol reg­u­larly, and are both proac­tive and re­ac­tive. Per­haps we need the courts to im­pose tougher sen­tences to de­ter this type of crime.”

Cllr How­ell also said res­i­dents need to take more care to lock their car. She said: “I re­cently at­tended a com­mu­nity ac­tion day event with of­fi­cers at Or­ton­gate. As part of this, of­fi­cers checked cars for items of value on dis­play and it was shock­ing to dis­cover how many cars had been left un­locked.

“I’m very aware that to­day’s crim­i­nals some­times have ac­cess to so­phis­ti­cated equip­ment that can open a car with­out its key (as has in­deed hap­pened to our car), but it is clear that res­i­dents aren’t al­ways re­mem­ber­ing to lock their cars ev­ery time they leave them unat­tended.”

Res­i­dents are urged to re­move valu­ables and even wipe away suc­tion marks on wind­screens that could in­di­cate sat nav sys­tems are in­side.

De­tec­tive Sergeant Mark Pl­itsch said: “While we are work­ing hard to iden­tify who is re­spon­si­ble for these thefts, we would urge mem­bers of the pub­lic to dou­ble check their ve­hi­cles are locked be­fore leav­ing it, and en­sure any valu­ables are re­moved, even if they are out of sight an op­por­tunist thief will take what they can find if they come across an un­locked door.”

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about this se­ries of thefts, or who sees any sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity, is asked to con­tact po­lice by call­ing 101 or re­port­ing on­line at www.cambs.po­lice.uk/ re­port.

Po­lice on pa­trol in Eye

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