Following a series of thefts of tools from vans and outbuildings such as sheds and garages recently, Suffolk Constabulary are launching a countywide crime prevention campaign to raise awareness and reduce incidents.
The ‘Get Tool Smart’ campaign highlights measures that can be taken by the public to protect themselves from this type of theft. It includes advice to van drivers to, including where any how to park vehicles, installing additional security devices inside vans and tips on marking tools with a unique, traceable paint.
Posters are being circulated to businesses and building trade suppliers across Suffolk advising people of the scheme. Once done, a sticker, ‘I’m Tool Smart’, has been produced which can be displayed on the vehicle/outbuilding, deterring offenders from stealing the marked tools.
In a bid to raise awareness of this type of theft, Safer Neighbourhood policing teams are holding a number of crime prevention ‘drop-in’ sessions this week in the east of the county:
Wednesday 14th March
9am-12am Jewson Building Merchant, 8-10 Abbey Road, Leiston IP16 4RD
9am-12am Co-op Supermarket, Sizewell Road, Leiston IP16 4AE
Thursday 15th March
9am-12am Jewson Building Merchant, Bedfield Road, Monk Soham IP13 7EJ
1pm-3pm Co-op Supermarket, Market Hill, Framlingham IP13 9AL
Friday 16th March
9am-12am Workwear (East Anglia) Ltd, Airfield Industrial Park, Eye IP23 7HS
1pm-3pm Stradbroke Community Centre, Wilby Road, Stradbroke IP21 5JN
Saturday 17th March
9am-12am Waitrose Supermarket, Church Street, Saxmundham IP17 1EP
Officers will be available to demonstrate marking tools with a unique, traceable paint available from Smart Water and DNA Selecta as well as giving crime prevention advice on other new security products such as CCTV cubes which can be fitted inside vehicles to deter offences taking place.
Van owners/drivers can register their tools for free at www.immobilise.com by taking note of the serial numbers and models, and to use ultraviolet pen to (invisibly) mark their property, which increases the chances of having them returned in the event of being lost or stolen.
Police are urging motorists to lock their car and remove all valuables, no matter whether you park on, or off road. Thieves will enter private properties, public carparks and garages to look for insecure vehicles.
Van drivers should also consider the following measures to reduce the risk of being a victim of crime:
• Always lock all doors & shut windows, physically checking van doors are locked.
• Park in a garage or secure area where possible.
• Park with the doors against a wall.
• If you park on your driveway consider installing motion activated CCTV.
• Be particularly aware when unloading.
• Remove tools from the van if possible.
• To increase the security of tools, you can bolt either a cage or box to the base of the van which should be secured with a sturdy close shackle padlock to reduce and deter further incidents.
• Setting an alarm or immobiliser will make it more difficult for the offender.
• Consider upgrading locks/fitting additional protection.
• Information on Police approved products can be found at www.securedbydesign.com
If you are offered tools in suspicious circumstances, please do not buy them and let police know immediately via 101. You can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For further crime prevention advice visit: www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/roads-and-vehicles/tool-smart and http://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z
Help us keep our communities safe.
Police advice on a variety of subjects can be accessed via https://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice
To report something, or to otherwise contact Police, use the link http://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us
To report something anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Alternatively call 101 for non-urgent matters.
Always call 999 in emergencies, or if an immediate police response is required.
Police Connect Team