DRIVERS in Coventry have been receiving forensic marking kits – the latest tool in the ongoing battle against catalytic converter thefts.
PC Robert Cheshire, north east neighbourhood officer in Coventry, visited Halfords on Foleshill Road yesterday to deliver 50 kits.
Staff at Halfords will help in applying the forensic marking products, along with warning stickers. The kits have been provided in partnership with National Metal Theft Taskforce.
Once applied the ‘invisible marker’ is guaranteed to last five years and has a proven track record in helping to secure conviction through the courts. Drivers can also display stickers in their car window warning would-be thieves that their catalytic converter is marked.
The move follows an increase in catalytic converter theft nationwide. Last month West Midlands Police joined forces across the country in a national week of action targeting scrap yards and rogue dealers in a bid to clamp down on the illegal buying and selling of stolen catalytic converters, which are highly-prized for the precious metals they contain.
PC Cheshire said: “Forensic marking is a fantastic deterrent and I’m really pleased we’re able to provide car owners in Coventry with the anti-theft kits provided to us.
“We’re grateful to Halfords and the regional general manager Richard Garrett for helping us to distribute these kits and supporting the public with this crime prevention initiative.
“We know the impact catalytic converter theft can have, causing car owners a huge expense and inconvenience, and we are working hard to stop this criminal activity with intelligence-led searches, public awareness campaigns and ongoing intel gathering into locations and suspects involved in the handling of stolen car parts.”
He urged people to report any suspicious activity around parked vehicles or any incidents they had recorded on mobile devices, CCTV or in-vehicle cameras.
“As well as forensic security marking kits, devices can be fitted to your catalytic converter to deter removal and Thatcham-approved alarms are also advised, particularly ones that activate if the car is lifted or tilted,” added PC Cheshire.
For more tips on how drivers can keep their vehicles safe, click here.
Crime prevention advice and details on how to report incidents of ‘theft from a motor vehicle’ can be found here.