Surrey Police crackdown on vehicle crime with message to motorists that thieves can strike within 60 seconds
Surrey Police has launched an initiative this week in a bid to reduce vehicle crime across the county.
Your vehicle and valuables could be ‘gone in 60 seconds’, which is the central message behind the force’s latest auto crime campaign, a stark warning to motorists that thieves can break into your car and steal your valuables within a minute.
The initiative, running under the name Operation Marjoram, aims to crack down on thefts of and thefts from vehicles and will run for four weeks. As well as raising awareness amongst motorists about simple measures they can take to avoid falling victim to opportunist thieves, the campaign is also aimed at targeting offenders.
The campaign will be supported by a ‘wrapped’ car which will be parked in key hot spot areas throughout the county acting as a warning to both potential thieves and to vehicle owners to remove valuables and keep their vehicles locked. The wrapping on the car shows the inside of the vehicle with various valuables left in it as a reminder to motorists how easy it is for thieves. The messages on the car are "Don’t make it easy for thieves” and "Lock your car and remove all personal possessions”.
The campaign will also be supported by radio advertising reminding motorists to lock their vehicles even if they are only leaving them for a minute, and pointing out that cash, mobiles, laptops and handbags can all be "gone in 60 seconds” but that it takes longer to sort out insurance claims and getting damage fixed.
Activity will also include extra patrol teams focusing on the hot spot areas within Surrey and offenders known to be linked to vehicle crime. The Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) team will also be stopping vehicles which are known to have been stolen or have links to offenders. The overall aim is to reduce the offences of theft from and theft of motor vehicles.
Operational activity for Operation Candlelight, Surrey Police’s burglary campaign, has also been extended to run alongside activities being carried out for Operation Marjoram.
The campaign has already led to a man being arrested on suspicion of drug offences. Officers on patrol for Operation Marjoram stopped a car on the A3 near Esher on Monday afternoon (7 January).
Police searched the vehicle and seized several bags containing a white substance, which was sent off for analysis.
A man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of drugs offences and taken to Staines Police Station where he was interviewed.
Jeffray Leung, 26, of High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, has since been charged with possession of class A drugs with intent to supply, possession of class C drugs with intent to supply and speeding. He appeared at Staines Magistrates Court yesterday (Wednesday, 9 January) and was remanded in custody. He is next due to appear at the same court on Wednesday, 16 January.
Always lock your car when you leave it, even if it’s just for a few moments. Make sure windows and sunroofs are shut and locked too.
- Never leave any personal possessions in your car. Thieves love to steal sat navs, laptops and mobile phones. But less obvious items such as clothes and loose change are also appealing.
- Don’t leave valuables hidden in your boot or under car seats. Thieves know where to look.
- Don’t store driving or vehicle documents in your glove box. Keep them stored safely at home.
- If your car doesn’t have an alarm, get one fitted or use a steering lock to deter thieves.
- Look after your car keys. Keep them on you when out and about. When at home keep them hidden and not in view of a window, door or letterbox.
- Secure your number plate with clutch head screws to avoid becoming a victim of ‘car cloning’.
- Keep your eye out for potential car criminals. If you see someone looking inside cars or trying door handles call Surrey Police on 101. In an emergency always call 999.
Operation Marjoram will run alongside Operation Candlelight, Surrey Police’s burglary campaign which was launched on 22 October to educate residents on what they can do to protect their home from opportunist burglars.
The burglary campaign aims to help householders get in to the mind of a burglar and understand what they look out for prior to committing a burglary.