Police issue security advice after spate of thefts from vehicles in Cumbria

230720 - Cumbria Police car stockshot - For use after 22/07/20
In last three months, the force has arrested 74 people for burglary. Credit: Cumbria Police

Police are encouraging people to take more precautions to protect themselves and their possessions following an increase in thefts across Cumbria.

In last three months, the force has arrested 74 people for burglary and eight for going equipped; a charge for when a person is caught with items that could be used for burglary or theft.

Officers say an increase in burglaries in the run-up to Christmas is "anticipated", but there are some steps people can take to lower their risk.

Home Security - What can you do?

  • Lock doors and windows before you go out and ensuring that your house and keys are secure.

  • Remove keys from locks and keeping them out of reach, not on a hall table.

  • Ensure side gates and sheds are locked with a good quality lock.

  • Keep cash and valuables locked away safe or well hidden.

  • Consider increasing your security with good quality locks, CCTV and chains.

Vehicle security – What can you do?

  • Don't leave your vehicles unlocked

  • Never leave any items of value in your vehicle on leaving it unoccupied

  • Wherever feasible, don't leave any work or business-related equipment in your vehicle, especially when your vehicle is left unoccupied overnight – having such items stolen can have a serious impact on your livelihood

  • Remove items of value from the glove box – this includes vehicle registration documentation

  • You may know that a bag or a box in your vehicle is empty or contains nothing of value, but an offender won't and it may catch their attention

Detective Chief Inspector Patrick McDonnell said: "We know these offences are not just about the impact from loss of possessions; it is obvious people want to feel safe in their homes and any intrusion of their property can ruin this peace of mind.

"We take this type of offence extremely seriously, and we work hard to bring offenders to justice as well as to disrupt this type of crime.

"A lot of the offenders we investigate unfortunately take advantage of properties and vehicles which unfortunately have not been secured.  

"While we actively seek to detect these offences, the target is actually to disrupt and prevent offenders committing these offences in the first place.

"One part of this is to actively disrupt offenders with preparatory offences such as going equipped.

"While these offences carry fewer sentencing powers, they will have often disrupted an offender on their way to carry out an offence."

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