Police: Keep community safe by remaining vigilant

Western Bay of Plenty police have noticed an increase in residential burglaries and cars being broken into in the last several weeks.

Of particular concern to police is the majority of the cars that have been broken into which were left unlocked by the owners.

Acting Senior Sergeant Cade, officer in charge of Tauranga Police Station, said people can take steps to prevent crime and reduce their chances of becoming a victim.

"Unlocked cars with valuable items left on display within the vehicle are quite often an open invite to an opportunist criminal."

Mr Cade says where vehicles are left locked and valuable items are hidden from view or removed from the vehicle this significantly reduces the chance of the vehicle owner being targeted.

Popular items of interest for criminals that break into cars are iPod, lap tops, car stereos, wallets and valuable sunglasses.

When the weather is hot, people are tempted to leave windows open during the day whilst they are away from their home.

Mr Cade advises that by investing in good quality security stays for the windows the home owner is sending a message to criminals that their home is a hard target and therefore reducing their risk of being victimised.

Security alarm systems and signage are also extremely good deterrents.

Mr Cade adds that residents can play a huge part in keeping their community safe by remaining vigilant. They should note down the description of the suspicious person and the registration of any suspicious vehicles.

He also encourages people to set up Neighbourhood Support Groups in their street as they are a great way to get to you know your neighbours and to deter crime.

Anyone wishing to set up a Neighbourhood Support Group, or wanting to discuss making their home or vehicle safer, can call Tauranga Community Constable Matt Elliott at the Tauranga Police Station on 5774307.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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