Today’s columnist, Det Chief Insp Delphine Waring: Real victims of vehicle crime

Det Chief Insp Delphine Waring
Det Chief Insp Delphine Waring
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I have an overview of all crimes committed in the city which involves identifying crime trends or emerging issues and looking at how we tackle them.

I’ve been in post a few months and one of the biggest issues is vehicle crime. I’m sure you’ve seen our Local Policing Teams post about this several times on social media already, but it keeps happening.

All across the city, we’re receiving a high number of reports of vehicles being broken into and any valuables inside stolen.

I know we’ve said it countless times but we’ll say it again – please, if you’re parking your vehicle or leaving it somewhere overnight, take your valuables with you. Don’t leave anything in sight or give would-be thieves anything to tempt them to break into your vehicle.

I know this can be really hard with vans, as they often don’t have windows and thieves are peeling back van doors in order to see if there’s anything of value inside. For those of you who do take care to remove your valuables overnight, this must be frustrating as you’re taking precautions to secure your vehicle and still you’re falling victim to crime.

What I want to highlight in this column is the severe impact vehicle crime can have on its victims.

Often, something that appears as simple as a broken window or a broken lock on a vehicle can have significant knock-on effects.

If the vehicle needs repairs, it could be out of use for a day or more. That means that a parent may struggle to do the school run, someone may be unable to get to work, a carer or mobile healthcare professional may be unable to reach their patients.

Van owners may be local tradespeople and to them, their van forms part of their livelihood. Without their van, they may not be able to transport tools or materials, which could have a devastating impact on their business.

I know it may seem like I’m picking extreme examples, but there are real victims facing these very real consequences in our city today because of vehicle crime. This is simply unacceptable.

There isn’t one simple solution that’s going to address this issue overnight and I’d encourage everyone to look at our Crime Reduction Officer’s ‘Top Ten Tips’ on our website, which is particularly useful for vans but can be helpful for car owners as well: South Yorkshire Police - Vehicle Crime

We want to know who’s doing this, so we can get them off the streets and prevent them from causing any further harm to our local communities. Please tell police or pass the information anonymously to Crimestoppers.