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									Bromley Borough Police

Bromley High Street ~ Bromley ~ Kent ~ BR1 1ER Tel: 020 8284 9963 Date: 03 December 2009 Contact: Julian Hurst 07940 540 698

Christmas & New Year crime prevention advice
Christmas and New Year often present an ideal opportunity for criminals to target cars, so Bromley Police are urging people to take a series of simple steps to prevent themselves becoming a victim:
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Don't leave things in cars for all to see Don't leave new gadgets on show, especially new Christmas Presents such as Satellite Navigation Systems, ipods and mobiles. This includes the cradles that hold these gadgets and their suction pads leaving them on show gives criminals the idea they may find the gadgets hidden in glove boxes Don't leave presents or purchases from the New Year sales on the back seat Where you park your car can also decrease your risk of being a victim of motor vehicle crime. Look out for car parks that display the "Park Mark" award under the police Safer Parking Scheme. This award shows that the operator has a commitment to providing a car park that feels safe and has measures in place to reduce levels of crime.

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Detective Superintendent Martin Huxley from Bromley Police is urging the public to play their part in leaving criminals out in the cold this winter. He said "We are urging the public to take action to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of crime in the lead up to Christmas. There are a number of simple steps that people can take to improve both their own safety and the security of their property, therefore closing down opportunities for criminals to target them.

Detective Superintendent Martin Huxley

Never leave anything on display when you park your car. An old coat or a plastic bag can tempt a thief - even if your coat or bag does not contain anything valuable, a thief does not know that and may still break a window or force a lock to get at it. Don't leave presents you have just bought on display in your car. Remove all property when leaving your vehicle unattended.

The most commonly stolen items include laptops, handbags, mobile phones, tools and Sat Nav systems. Remove your Sat Nav system from your vehicle completely. Do not leave them in the glove compartment or boot and make sure you remove the cradle that holds it and wipe away any suction marks on the windscreen or dashboard. An empty cradle or suction marks are a dead giveaway as to what may be hidden in the vehicle and may be enough of an incentive for a thief to break in. Our message is 'take it or lose it' - never leave valuables in your vehicle.

When out and about, keep your handbag, wallet and mobile phone safe. Be careful in crowded streets or stores. Be aware of who is around when you go to a cashpoint machine. Never leave a purse in the top of an open bag, and never leave your bags unattended. An opportunist thief will only need seconds to strike, so it is essential to keep valuables such as wallets, mobile phones and MP3 players out of sight.

We are aware that the festive season does provide more opportunities for thieves, and we'd urge everyone just to take a bit of extra care to have a secure and crime free Christmas".

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