Force responds to recent spike in catalytic converter thefts with marking event
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In a bid to tackle the recent spike in catalytic converter thefts in the county, Northamptonshire Police is taking action and holding a catalytic converter marking event for concerned vehicle owners.
The free of charge marking event will be a valuable opportunity for you to speak with a local officer about how to protect your vehicle from criminals whilst your catalytic converter is marked – all in the space of approximately 15 minutes. The marking itself will be done by a mechanic from the Force’s transport department.
The catalytic converter is a target for theft as it contains precious metals, including platinum and rhodium. Criminals can steal the converter in a few quick steps, and often go unchallenged by members of the public. Marking the catalytic converters on vehicles will act as a significant deterrent to criminals.
Each marking kit comes with a unique ‘CAT’ marking code. Once registered, the unique code can be married up with the vehicle registration details. The aim is to devalue the product to thieves and handlers of stolen goods, making it more difficult to sell on.
Paul Golley, who leads the crime prevention team at Northamptonshire Police, said: “I would encourage concerned vehicle owners to come along and get their catalytic converter marked, but particularly the owners of Toyota vehicles. In this recent spike of thefts, Toyota vehicles, particularly the Prius and Auris models, have accounted for a large percentage of all those targeted.
“This marking event which will be a fantastic opportunity to speak to one of our officers and gain some awareness of what may make your vehicle a target to criminals, and what actions you can take to protect your vehicle in the best way possible.”
The marking event will take place at the Toyota Garage at Riverside Park, Northampton on Wednesday, August 21, between 9am and 2pm. However due to a limited availability of appointments available, vehicle owners who are interested in attending are requested to book an allocated time slot rather than dropping in on the day.
Please note: Failure to have a time slot allocated will result in being turned away as time slots will be booked back to back.
Appointments will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis.
Anyone wishing to take advantage of the free marking session are invited to call Kate Bailey on 101, extension 346195 or email CrimePrevention@northants.pnn.police.uk to book a time slot.
Advice for motorists
- Some vehicle manufacturers/dealers sell locking devices for catalytic converters
- Where possible, park your vehicle in a locked garage, as close to your home as possible or in a parking spot overlooked by residents. Avoid parking your vehicle half on the pavement and half on the road, as this can make it easier for thieves to access the catalytic converter
- If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars and facing your bonnet towards the wall. With the catalytic converter positioned at the front of your vehicle, this will make it harder for thieves to get close enough to steal it
- When parking in public areas, opt for ‘Park Mark’ accredited car parks as these have CCTV as part of the accreditation
- Consider installing a Thatcham approved alarm to your vehicle. Ones that activate if the vehicle is lifted or tilted are particularly effective
- Consider using a catalytic converter protection device or marking system approved by www.securedbydesign.com. For further advice email: email@example.com
- If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it to police. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations
Advice for businesses
- Employ defensive parking to ensure vehicles that are most vulnerable to theft are parked where they are least accessible to thieves. Consider blocking high clearance vehicles in with low clearance ones to prevent a would-be thief from getting underneath
- Check your perimeter security. Ensuring your business has an appropriate boundary fence will act as a deterrent to opportunist catalytic converter thieves
- Use lighting to illuminate areas where an intruder may be seen or attempt to operate
- Consider investing in monitored CCTV to provide protection for your vehicle fleet
- Check vehicle protection measures you are considering are approved by the Secured by Design scheme: securedbydesign.com