Police are reminding motorists that an unlocked car is an unsafe car, as they launch a new vehicle security campaign across County Durham.
The campaign will run from Wednesday to Saturday (July 21), and aims to reduce the number of incidents involving theft from motor vehicles by encouraging owners to keep their vehicles secure.
Figures show that in 17.6% of the county’s most recent theft from motor vehicle incidents, the vehicles involved have been unlocked or otherwise insecure.
Sergeant Michael Sammut, of Spennymoor Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “Despite advancing technology making our cars more secure now than ever before, responsibility still lies with the owner to lock the doors and keep it secure.
“For example, if there are valuables left on display inside, or if the windows are left open, the vehicle becomes a prime target for opportunistic thieves.”
During the campaign, officers will be targeting the areas most affected by the crime to engage with vehicle owners and provide advice and assistance.
Key advice being offered includes:
• Never leave keys in the ignition.
• Park in a busy, well-lit area.
• If you have a garage, use it.
• Close windows, sunroofs and doors.
• Don’t leave valuables on display.
• Store driving documents at home.
Sgt Sammut said: “Although some of this advice might seem like common sense, our experience shows that in too many cases it simply isn’t followed.
“This campaign is our reminder that if your vehicle isn’t locked, it isn’t safe.”
To join in the conversation, or to offer your own vehicle security advice, you can use the hashtag #NotLockedNotSafe.