Police should do more to look after our cars in Lenton

Thieves continuously break into student cars and the authorities aren’t doing enough about it, says Brandon Pieters


A new term has started but one thing isn’t new: cars in Lenton are still being broken into on a nightly basis and the police are doing very, very little to stop it. Last week, my car was broken into for the third time and the police are less present than ever.

I can’t help but wonder whether the authorities actually care about car crime in Lenton or whether it’s simply seen as okay because it’s populated by students?

‘Popping’ creating a real mess…

The police know the tactics the thieves use and call it ‘popping’. This is the art of making a hole by the lock and opening the door.

So, if they know what they are doing, why aren’t they educating us on how to stop this or giving out preventative information? They don’t see car crime as a priority. Well, it’s my priority, and they should do more, because hundreds of pounds worth of damage is being caused on a regular basis.

Just to add to my fury, this is not a new problem. In August 2013 a study showed that of the top ten worst streets for car crime in Nottingham, Lenton was on it 5 times (Chilwell Street, Wragby Road, Lenton Boulevard, Johnson Road and Church Street). Go back to 2012 and it’s the same story: vehicle crime was rising then and it’s still rising now.

One 'Hotspot' in Lenton

One ‘Hotspot’ in Lenton

The police need to start taking this more seriously and increase patrols at key times. We need to deter these criminals and I continue to ask why the local council hasn’t installed CCTV in some of the most heavily populated areas in Lenton?

The cynic in me says that the reason is simple. Unlike parking fines, CCTV doesn’t generate money.

It seems that we are treated as second class citizens and have second class rights as students. The police and Nottingham City Council need to start serving the community of Lenton and give the students of Nottingham what they deserve – a safe place without fearing constant crime on a nightly basis.

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Friend of The Tab Sam Dean said: “My car was also broken into last year. More recently, I saw three cars with smashed windows in the same street off Ilkeston Road. It’s obvious that criminals are targeting the student area and someone needs to do something to stop it.”

When The Tab put these points to the police, a spokeswoman said: “As well as patrols of potential crime hot spots, we visit known offenders and do our best to educate people about making their vehicles as secure as possible.” The full statement can be found below.

If you have been a victim of car crime in the Lenton area then comment below and tell us what you think.

Police Statement in full:

Our latest crime figures show that theft from a vehicle has reduced by 20 per cent (360 April 2013 to Jan 2014 compared to 454 April 2012 to Jan 2013) in the Canning Circus area – which includes Lenton.

This is down to ongoing work to try and prevent this type of crime and make our communities a safe and pleasant place to live.

As well as patrols of potential crime hot spots, we visit known offenders and do our best to educate people about making their vehicles as secure as possible.

We have been made aware of three incidents of theft involving a fiat punto. The incidents were reported to police on two occasions on 6 December 2013 and 31 January 2014.

On 6 December 2013 the victim reported that the car was broken into via the lock on 25 November 2013 while parked on the side of Lenton Boulevard. A sat nav, coins and a bag containing watches were taken. Then on 5 December 2013 the car had been broken into again at the same location but nothing was taken. Officers carried out house to house enquiries and checked CCTV in the area.

On 31 January 2014 the victim reported the car had been broken into for the third time on 28 January 2014 when it was parked in a carpark at Sainsbury’s. Nothing was taken. An appointment for officers to take a statement is in the process of being set up.

Most vehicle crime is preventable. It can take as little as 10 seconds for a thief to steal something from your car.

The best way to protect your belongings is to lock your car whenever you leave it. Other things you can do include:

  • Removing everything from the car, don’t even leave a jacket where it can be seen
  • Closing the sunroof along with the windows when you leave
  • Not storing things in the boot, take them with you
  • Storing car ownership information in your home, not your car
  • Having a routine to ensure you always take the keys out of the ignition
  • Taking removable stereos and sat nav equipment with you
  • In addition, using secure (theft resistant) number plates can make your plates less attractive to thieves
  • Where you park can make a big difference to the safety of your car and your belongings. Look out for car parks approved by the police Safer Parking scheme. You can find them by looking for their distinctive ‘Park Mark’ signs.