Police urge motorists to heed security advice in cold weather

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16 Jan 2012

As the county sees its first cold snap of the winter, Cheshire Police are urging the public to help combat a crime trend associated with the cold weather.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Smith said

Thieves seize the opportunity of the cold weather to steal cars. The arrival of cold winter mornings normally brings a series of de-frosting type thefts. Thieves target cars which have been left with their engines running to defrost the windscreens. Just this morning, a Toyota was stolen in these circumstances in Widnes by criminals seizing their opportunity to drive away in cars left on driveways with the keys in the ignition.

- Detective Chief Inspector Andy Smith, Cheshire Police

The message from Cheshire Police is simple - Never leave keys in the ignition and doors unlocked when your car is unattended, even if it is only for a couple of minutes and the vehicle is sitting on your own driveway or on the road outside your house. Similarly, we urge drivers to be sensible and defrost their screens before moving off, because driving with only a few inches of the windscreen clear is dangerous.

The consequences of losing your car in this way could be more far reaching than most people realise.

Detective Chief Inspector Smith added

The sensible approach is to allow an extra few minutes to defrost your car and do not leave it unattended. When making an insurance claim in a situation where a driver has left a vehicle insecure, insurers may argue that a reasonable duty of care has not been taken. Victims are then faced with the loss of their vehicle with potenitally no means of replacement, even though they are fully insured.

- Detective Chief Inspector Andy Smith, Cheshire Police
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