Police Scotland launch campaign to prevent vehicle thefts amid ‘upward trend’ in crime rates as Covid restrictions ease

Police have launched an awareness raising campaign to prevent vehicles being targeted by criminals as crime rates return to pre-Covid levels.

Recorded crime fell while coronavirus restrictions were in force across the country.

But officers have been seeing a rise in the number of cars, vans and motorcycles being stolen or having items stolen from within.

Last month, a gang of thieves made off with four cars from two streets in part of Edinburgh by breaking-through people’s windows to steal their car keys as they slept. It is understood the culprits were disturbed at one house by a barking dog.

Police have launched an awareness raising campaign to prevent vehicles being targeted by criminals as crime rates return to pre-Covid levels.

This came just a few weeks after a brazen thief entered a Prestonfield home during the afternoon and stole a man’s car key from the top of a bedroom cabinet, before driving the vehicle out of his driveway as he and his wife watched television in their living room. The door to the man’s home was left open for a painter outside who had been perfecting a sunset mural on the fence around his garden decking.

Police say there has been a six percent year to date rise in attempted thefts across Scotland and, in a number of divisions, there has been an increase in the number of vehicles successfully stolen too.

Officers are now urging the public to take appropriate security measures in respect of their vehicles and valuables within, to try and prevent further victims of these crimes.

Detective Superintendent Joyce Greenhorn, Police Scotland's acquisitive crime lead, said: "With people now able to spend increased time away from their homes again, be it to go on holiday, or returning to other activities, the number of instances of vehicles being subject to criminal activity has risen.

"We are treating this upward trend with the utmost seriousness and want to provide communities with all the information they require to help stop their vehicles and property being targeted.

"Please always remember to keep your vehicle locked when unattended and remove all valuables, or store them safely out of sight. If you are going on holiday, ask someone you trust to keep an eye on your home, car, van or bike and get them to report any suspicious activity they observe to the police immediately.

"We will be using our social media channels to provide crime prevention advice over the coming week, so look out for these updates.

"You can also visit our website www.scotland.police.uk at any time for useful guidance on safeguarding your home, vehicle and personal possessions."

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