Significant reduction in vehicle crime in the Horsham district

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Vehicle users in the Horsham District are being warned not to leave valuables on display in their vehicles in a bid to deter thieves.

The Horsham District remains a low crime area and the risk of becoming a victim of vehicle crime is low, which can only be improved by responsible and informed owners taking action to avoid the potential loss of property.

Vehicle crime in the Horsham District has fallen by 13.4 per cent compared to the last year, which is a reduction in 53 offences.

Vehicle users should try and consider where they are leaving their cars and try and leave vehicles in well lit areas if possible.

Most vehicle crime is opportunist and can be prevented by taking a number of security precautions.

Tips from Sussex Police include:

- Always leave handbags and wallets at home if possible. Even if handbags do not contain anything valuable, a thief will not know that and might still break a window or force a lock to get at it

- Make sure the doors of the vehicle are locked and the windows and sunroof are closed even if the vehicle will only be left for a couple of minutes

- Make sure the car is parked in a location where it is in clear view of other people, not obscured from sight by trees or shrubs, therefore making it more vulnerable

- The most commonly stolen items from cars include satellite navigation systems, handbags and mobile phones. They are easy to remove quickly, are easily concealed and do not look out of place if a thief is seen walking away from a car

- Make sure coats and jackets are not left behind in the car. A thief may think that it is hiding a laptop or handbag and break into the car to find out

- Should anything untoward happen, descriptions and car registrations should be noted and given to the police at the time of suspicious incidents

Chief Inspector Howard Hodges, Horsham District Commander at Sussex Police, said: “The solution to avoid becoming the next victim is easy. Simply don’t leave any valuables in your car.

“Thinking you can hide them under your seat or in the boot or foot well is not an option either, as thieves know where to look.

“By taking a few simple precautions, you can ensure that you don’t become the next theft victim.”