I am pleased to advise that Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Watch and Paul Deach, Surrey County Councillor, have collaborated so that we can offer those with a vulnerable vehicle and who are members of an active Neighbourhood Watch scheme in Surrey Heath, a ‘Catalytic Converter Kit’ free of charge to help deter thieves.
The cars most likely to be affected are ALL hybrid Toyota/Honda/Lexus models and some older non-hybrid cars: –
Toyota Prius, Toyota Auris, Lexus RX, Toyota Yaris, Honda Jazz (2002 – 2010 models)
A catalytic converter can be stolen in a matter of seconds but since this initiative was launched in Kent, there has been a 100% reduction in catalytic converter theft from vehicles that have been marked with these kits.
If you or any of your Watch members are interested in obtaining one of these kits (the kits will be handed out on a first come, first served basis until they are all gone), please email firstname.lastname@example.org giving your full name, contact details and your car details. We will get back to you asap with an update.
Once you have the Kit, you will be required to: –
- Sign up on the online database to link your catalytic converter
Request your normal garage to carry out the marking process which could be undertaken whilst they carry out an MOT or Service on your car.
- Check all door and window locking mechanisms comply with the conditions set by the insurance industry.
- Stand back from their property and “think thief”: Perimeter and garden/ boundary fences / walls / hedges should deter a would-be intruder. However, tall hedges / shrubs, close to the house, could act as a screen to an intruder. Access to the rear of the property, via side entrances, should be prevented.
- Consider installing an infrared-activated light effectively exposes an intruder.
- Ensure all outbuildings (garages, sheds etc.) are properly secured and locked at all times.
- Where possible, cars should be parked in a garage, rather than left on the drive. If this is not possible, ensure they are suitably secured and alarmed (any or all types). Do not leave valuable on display in the car.
- Garden and DIY tools and steps / ladders should be locked safely away and, preferably marked with forensic DNA. Interior and property identification
- Valuables should be security marked, preferably using a forensic DNA material, and serial numbers listed – this aids identification if property is recovered by the police. Jewellery and other small items of value should be photographed and listed.
- Do not leave keys to the property or car in obvious places to aid a thief.
- Added security (e.g. a safe, alarm system or security camera) may be required if there are items of high value. A chain and spy hole should be fitted to the main access door and used. Do not allow access, by a caller, to the property unless satisfied with their credentials and purpose.
- See Police leaflet – Making sure that your property is secure whilst on holiday
- Does your property look occupied when you are away?
- Watch members should let neighbours know that they are not in residence and leave a number where they may be contacted. Cancel newspapers, milk etc. and ask a neighbour to check the property regularly and be extra vigilant.
- Use the Post Office Keep Safe service to prevent mail piling up in your letter box or inside front-door.
- Ensure that the property looks occupied. Use automatic timing switches for lights and a radio are a good idea. A neighbour’s car securely parked on the drive would be better than parked on the road.
When and how to Report crime
- If, a Watch member suspects or sees a crime is about to be committed or they see a person(s) behaving suspiciously, they should report their suspicions to the police immediately, giving as much information as possible (do your best to identify persons and /or vehicles) call : 101
- If they are witnessing a criminal act taking place or require immediate police presence call 999.
- Watch members should be as observant as possible from their vantage point but should not put themselves at risk. If they are reluctant to contact the police, they should seek a neighbour’s advice or opinion and / or speak to their Watch Coordinator – but do so immediately.
- If a Watch member has good information concerning criminal activity and wishes to report anonymously – call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or report on their website https://crimestoppers-uk.org.
- They can also contact their local Safer Neighbourhood Team by visiting their web page at http://www.surrey.police.uk.
- The Surrey Heath Crime Reduction Adviser will offer free and independent crime reduction advice if contacted on 101.