A recent reduction in vehicle crime is being largely attributed to “good old-fashioned policing” by neighbourhood officers.
In late summer Redcar and East Cleveland Neighbourhood Police Team (NPT) set tackling theft from vehicle and vehicle interference offences as a local priority because figures were beginning to rise.
And officers’ concerted efforts appear to have paid off with just two crimes reported for the entire Redcar area in the first 13 days of November.
This is in addition to a 66% reduction throughout October across all Redcar and East Cleveland’s 18 wards compared with September, and just three offences reported across East Cleveland’s nine wards.
Five people were charged in October in connection with 23 alleged offences in Coatham, West Dyke, St Germains, Wheatlands and Brotton wards.
Some are on bail with curfew, one is on remand and another’s awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to 10 offences.
NPT Inspector Neil Deluce said: “These results are testament to good old-fashioned policing methods; neighbourhood officers used all available intelligence to target specific areas and to proactively and relentlessly pursue known suspected offenders.
“From a reactive point of view, whenever we received a report of a vehicle crime we visited the victim as soon as possible and immediately trawled any available CCTV systems. Our SOCO colleagues also provided great support in helping locate forensic evidence.
“We do have additional enquiries underway where bank cards taken from vehicles were used fraudulently; we’ll do all we can to bring charges against anyone under investigation for these offences.
“We won’t be complacent though, the issue hasn’t gone away and I’d urge all our residents to play their part by always removing valuables from inside vehicles when they’re left unattended.
“Motorists should always lock car doors as we’re finding many cases where insecure vehicles are targeted by opportune thieves just trying door handles.
“Finally, park in well-lit areas if you can - or even better use a locked garage or a driveway with a closed and locked gate if possible.”