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Wednesday, 13 February, 2002, 16:33 GMT
Crackdown fails to curb car crime
Car theft generic
Vehicle theft has continued to rise in north Wales
Car crime in north Wales has increased despite a police campaign to reduce the number of offences.

Operation Steer was launched in September last year in a bid to combat the problem however latest figures show a 6% increase in vehicle crime in 2001.


There has been some success with Operation Steer, but now vehicle owners have got a responsibility to help us

Chief Inspector Bob Wilson

A senior officer was appointed by the north Wales force to oversee its operation in a bid to cut car crime by 7%.

Vehicle crime accounts for around a fifth of all recorded crime and is estimated to cost the UK around 3.5bn a year.

In the north Wales region figures show that nearly 2,000 cars and almost 1.5m worth of property were stolen from vehicles last year.

Statistics indicate that one car every four hours is stolen in the area and less than half are currently recovered.

Police headquarters
Police are cracking down on car crime

After the initial launch of Operation Steer the number of cars stolen and thefts from vehicles decreased and 150 arrests were made in relation to car crime.

But after the Christmas and New Year rush police believe that people have become more relaxed and are leaving valuables in full view.

North Wales Police have received reports of handbags, clothing, wheelchairs and a baby heart monitor being stolen from vehicles.

Chief Inspector Bob Wilson explained: "Figures for February are going up right across the board.

Growing Concern

"There has been some success with Operation Steer, but now vehicle owners have got a responsibility to help us.

"People seem to be taking notice of the need to secure their vehicles, but they are still very absent minded and lazy when it comes to leaving things on view," added Chief Inspector Wilson.

"We would ask people to stay on their guard and be mindful - the message is leave nothing on display," he said.

The police force has tackled the growing concern by attending 87% of calls regarding stolen vehicles.

They have also targeted known offenders and used decoy cars in a bid to trap thieves.


More news from north east Wales
See also:

27 Apr 00 | UK
22 May 00 | UK Politics
17 Oct 00 | Scotland
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