Tradespeople across the Derbyshire Dales are being urged to make sure that their vehicles are secure after thieves target vans in the area.
Over the last week, police have received reports of valuable tools and equipment being stolen from vans, particularly in Matlock, Ashbourne, Darley Dale and Hope Valley.
During the incidents, thieves have forced the locks and bent down the doors to gain access and made off with power tools and specialist equipment.
Sergeant Andy Wordsworth, who oversees policing across the Derbyshire Dales, said: “Following the thefts I would like to urge motorists, particularly tradespeople, to take extra steps to protect their vans from being targeted by thieves.
“It’s important to ensure that vehicles are properly secure before leaving them unattended, with any sucker markers left from a sat nav being wiped away, and valuables removed where possible. Thieves love clean, unmarked tools that can be easily sold on so don’t make it easy for them by property marking all of your valuables.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage tradespeople in particular to remove their tools from their vehicles where possible, along with taking them away from a site after a working day.”
Simple crime prevention advice includes:
Parking in well-lit areas, using a driveway or garage if possible;
Fitting your vehicle with an alarm;
Parking close to walls or buildings to limit access to your vehicle;
Removing valuable items from inside when leaving the vehicle unattended and displaying a ‘No tools left in van overnight’ stickers;
Consider investing in additional locks for your van, such as clasp or slam locks;
Investing in security lighting for outside your property;
Investing in gravel driveways to ensure you can hear if someone enters your property.
Residents can now pick up discounted crime prevention products at locations in Ashbourne, Bakewell and Matlock as part of Operation Illuminate. This includes the Derbyshire Dales District Council office on Bank Road, Matlock, Arc Leisure Matlock on Bakewell Road, Bakewell Swimming Pool and the Ashbourne News Telegraph reception.
For further crime prevention advice, or to speak to your local Safer Neighbourhood team call 101, or send them a message on www.derbyshire.police.uk.