Police in Wakefield pledge to put brakes on car criminals

A new vehicle crime unit has been launched in Wakefield
A new vehicle crime unit has been launched in Wakefield

A new "proactive" vehicle crime unit has been launched in Wakefield to try and curb car criminals.

It was launched after a rise in the number of vehicle crime offences over the summer.

It has made 10 arrests in the first two weeks, including theft of vehicles and theft from vehicles, leading to a man and woman being charged with theft offences.

Police say it will review all reported recent vehicle crime offences for patterns and trends, and is proactively investigating all new offences as they come in.

They have already been carrying out "disruption tactics" against known offenders and are linking in with neighbourhood policing teams to coordinate joint arrest enquiries.

Meanwhile officers are urging residents to ensure their cars are secure and valuables are not left on show.

Suction marks on windscreens from mounted portable sat navs can act as a giveaway that there may be expensive equipment in the car and should be removed before a vehicle is locked up.

Chief Inspector Richard Close of Wakefield District Police, said: “We have noted an increase in overall vehicle crime in the district since the summer and have created a dedicated team to tackle some of the issues which have arisen.

“Already officers are having an impact after making a number of arrests and beginning disruption tactics against vehicle thieves who we know are operating in our communities.

“If you know somebody may be breaking into or stealing vehicles in your area then please call Crimestopers on 0800 555 111.  Reports can be made in total anonymity and I can promise residents that all reports and intelligence will be reviewed and acted upon wherever possible.”

Detective Inspector Dave Watts of Wakefield District CID, said: “My team are becoming increasingly active in communities and proactive operations are already in the planning stages.

“What I would ask of residents is to help us keep car crime down by making sure their vehicles are secured at night and that valuables such as portable sat nav’s or mobile phones are not left on display in cradles.”