POLICE are getting tough on criminals who target vehicles across the area.
As motorists continue to suffer at the hands of opportunistic thieves, officers from the Arun district neighbourhood policing team are keen to hammer home to drivers the steps they can take to protect their vehicles.
Over recent months a number of car crimes have been reported across the area, a figure the force wants to see fall.
Michelle Davies, a public engagement officer for Arun’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “The majority of this type of crime is opportunistic, and occurs because valuables have been left on view or the vehicle left insecure.
“If a vehicle is left insecure, it only takes ten seconds for your valuables to be stolen.”
As part of a West Sussex-wide initiative to clampdown on vehicle crime, the force has issued two posters.
One aims to highlight how much of a dent could be made in a driver’s pocket should they leave their valuables on show.
It shows how some £1,539 can disappear in just ten seconds if personal belongings like handbags, phones and electronic devices are left out in the open for all to see.
The other, which should be displayed prominently in vehicles, lets would-be thieves know they would have no joy should they try their luck by breaking-in.
The ‘no valuables left in this vehicle’ poster is available from local police stations.
Alongside the visual aids, the force has issued some clear advice, too.
n Always lock your car – for however short a period of time
n Remove valuables from the car – don’t hide things in the glove box
n Wipe off any tell-tale sat nav marks left behind on your windscreen
n Close your windows
n Double-check the central locking has worked and your car is secure
n Where possible, park your vehicle in a busy, well-lit area
n Never leave your keys in the vehicle, even if you are just leaving it for a few seconds
Anyone who has any information on anyone who is involved in car crime should call Sussex Police on 101.
You can also visit www.sussex.police.uk
Alternatively, you can speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers on the freephone number 0800 555 111.