By Lucy Ashton
Police Scotland has launched an awareness raising campaign to prevent vehicles being targeted by criminals.
During the past year, when the country was subject to a range of coronavirus restrictions, including lockdown, recorded crime fell.
As crime rates return to pre-COVID levels, officers are seeing a rise in the number of cars, vans and motorcycles being stolen, or having items stolen from within.
Attempted theft of vehicles has increased across Scotland and in a number of divisions, there has been an increase in the number of vehicles successfully stolen too.
Officers are now urging the public to take appropriate security measures in respect of their vehicles and valuables within, to try and prevent further victims of these crimes.
Detective Superintendent Joyce Greenhorn, Police Scotland’s Acquisitive Crime Lead, said: “With people now able to spend increased time away from their homes again, be it to go on holiday, or returning to other activities, the number of instances of vehicles being subject to criminal activity has risen.
“We are treating this upward trend with the utmost seriousness and want to provide communities with all the information they require to help stop their vehicles and property being targeted.
“Please always remember to keep your vehicle locked when unattended and remove all valuables, or store them safely out of sight. If you are going on holiday, ask someone you trust to keep an eye on your home, car, van or bike and get them to report any suspicious activity they observe to police immediately.
“We will be using our social media channels to provide crime prevention advice over the coming week, so look out for these updates.
“You can also visit our website www.scotland.police.uk at any time for useful guidance on safeguarding your home, vehicle and personal possessions.”