Barking and Dagenham drivers are warned after rise in car break-ins

Motorists are being urged not to leave valuable items on show in their cars following a rise in the number of thefts from vehicles in the borough.

Though the number of vehicles stolen in Barking and Dagenham has fallen over the past year, the number of thefts involving items being taken from cars has risen.

In March 2011 there were 103 reported ‘theft from vehicle’ incidents. In March this year there were 194.

Barking and Dagenham Police said there are more plain-clothes and uniformed officers patrolling the streets in order to reduce the trend, but they are also asking motorists to be more vigilant.

Borough commander Gary Buttercase said: “I urge local residents to help us by making sure that valuables are not left on show.

“If you have a satellite navigation system please remove it when the car is not in use and wipe off the mark left by the suction cup.

“Never leave your car keys where they can be seen from outside your home or your car could become a thieves’ getaway vehicle. If you would like security screws to fix your number plates please contact your Safer Neighbourhoods Team.”

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He added: “In a perfect world we would be able to leave items in our vehicles without having them stolen, but the sad reality is that there are some unscrupulous people who will take things that don’t belong to them.”

“Theft of” vehicles is currently showing a reduction. There were 74 reported incidents for March compared with 112 for the same month last year.

n For details of your Safer Neighbourhoods team please log on at or call the non-urgent police line on 101