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Council backs police car theft tactics


A London council is backing police shock tactics that involve removing items left in unlocked cars to stop motorists making the same mistake twice.

Officers in Richmond upon Thames in London are determined to make motorists more aware of the dangers of leaving valuable items in a parked car so have started to target careless owners.

Police have been removing items such as handbags, laptops and satnavs from unsecured vehicles and leaving a note telling them they can retrieve their items from Twickenham police station.

They hope motorists returning to unlocked cars to find items missing will be more careful about their property

A Richmond upon Thames LBC spokesman said: “We fully support this initiative and we are particularly proud of the relationship we have with the police.

“We do have an issue with theft in the borough and particularly theft from cars.”

He warned that the attractive appearance of the suburb “lulls householders and car owners into a false sense of security”, with many leaving keys under flowerpots and items on display.


Readers' comments (2)

  • My car locks itself after a few seconds if I fail to lock it. I imagine that most modern cars do that and it is only older cars that do not have such a locking mechanism. Therefore, the police (and the council) are open to challenge about the motives. Is it to encourage people to remove valuables and lock up as stated? Or is there an unwritten motive - a chance to snoop on cars that are more likely to be "dodgy". Irrespective, removing articles without the owners permission is of dubious legality and is consistent with an unfortunate attitude developing in local government, the police and elsewhere in society that it is ok to interfere in peoples' business on every possible opportunity under the banner of serving the public interest or protecting the public. Taken all that as a whole it is an increasingly unacceptable attitude and culture.

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  • The police have taken it upon themselves to filch items from the cars of law-abiding British citizens in order to teach them about crime. It sounds a lot like how a parent teaches a child about cleaning up one's room. It makes sense. For a parent and a child. For the police and the citizenry, it is quite inappropriate. Offensively so.

    What forces could have let the top brass and borough councillors to devise and approve this tactic? What has impelled them, and what has compelled them?

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