Neighbourhood watch warn: keep your vehicles secure

Joseph Bulmer

Torridge residents are urged to keep their vehicles secure after an increase in ‘opportunist’ theft

TORRIDGE district neighbourhood watch is urging people to keep their vehicles, premises and possessions safe after an increase in ‘opportunist’ crime this week.

The area usually averages at around 20 selected reported crime incidents a week but last week reached a high of 29 theft and damage related crimes.

In Bideford town and rural areas there has been a recent increase in thefts from vehicles, and in 50 percent of these cases the vehicles have been insecure and unattended.

The neighbourhood watch is encouraging people to lock their vehicles even when they are on the drive, and not to leave possessions on display.

Despite the increase this week, crime levels in the area have been falling year on year and Torridge is considered one of the three safest places to live in England and Wales.

Tom Carrick, chairman of the neighbourhood watch, added: “This has continued even after we had the police cuts and means our police have endured different shift patterns and an increase in work load. It is also a fact that areas that have an active neighbourhood watch scheme are safer areas due to members looking after each other and their properties.”

Torridge district neighbourhood watch forum currently has over 6,500 households in membership. For further information on becoming a member or starting a watch please phone Tom Carrick on (01237) 474031.