Too many cars left unlocked says Peterborough police chief after rise in vehicle thefts

Superintendent Melanie Dales

Superintendent Melanie Dales

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Peterborough’s police chief is urging residents to lock their doors after her officers found a significant number of cars had been left unlocked.

Superintendent Melanie Dales - speaking after the latest crime figures in Peterborough showed a 2.7 per cent recorded rise in the past year - wants more vigilance in the city to head off criminals.

Asked if crime has gone up, Peterborough’s area commander said: “I think it’s starting to go up but only in specific circumstances such as shoplifting and motor vehicles.

“People need to be more vigilant locking doors and garages. We see a good proportion of cars left open.

“Burglaries are slightly up as well from last year but any help we can get from the public will be gratefully received.

“I can understand that people become complacent because they feel they are safe in their own homes.

“If you see people you do not know, ask them if they are lost because burglars do not like being spotted.”

Supt Dales was speaking shortly after police in Coventry were criticised for entering people’s unlocked homes and tweeting photographs.

And while she did not condone the policy she said could understand why the force had taken the decision it did.

“Pointing out how easy it is to break into their homes might make them more vigilant,” she said.

Supt Dales also warned that violent crime figures - which have increased by 15 per cent in the past 12 months - will continue to go up as more investigations which do not lead to police action will still be recorded.

She said: “We are getting better at crime recording but there’s still some way to go. Violent crime we are still under-recording so we are likely to see an increase in the figures while we do that.”

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Violent crime in Peterborough up 15 per cent in last year