A new initiative, launched in 2014, from two local authorities is being credited for a 20 per cent plus reduction in thefts from vehicles.
Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire police introduced the new scheme in February to prevent valuables being stolen from parked cars by warning members of the public that their car may be a likely target.
The scheme involves city council civil enforcement officers identifying cars with valuables on display then recording details of the vehicle and informing the police.
So far, the police have sent out 260 letters to the registered owners of the vehicles to provide crime prevention advice.
A council spokeswoman said statistics reveal there has been a 23.6 per cent reduction in thefts from vehicles between February and October this year.
She added that there were 61 crimes reported between February 2014 and October 2014, compared with 82 in the same period the year before.
The item most likely to be stolen was a sat nav and numerous cars were found left with their windows open.
Other changes to car parks have also been introduced including crime prevention advice on signage and audio messages on pay and display ticket machines.
Mick Dolan, parking services manager for the council, said: “People need to be aware that their items could easily be sold on by the thieves, so we urge them not to leave items on display.
“Even a coat on the back seat could be tempting for a thief as they don’t know what is underneath that coat or indeed in the pockets.”
Beverley Makin, police crime reduction officer, said, “We have seen items such as tools, handbags, wallets, purses, electronic equipment, phones, wrapped presents and open front windows with blue badges inches away.”