Checking for parked cars where Christmas presents have been left on view, Norwich based PCSO Martyn Laycock.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Police issue a warning to shoppers in Norwich this Christmas

Friday, December 21, 2012
12.52 PM

Don’t give thieves the chance to ruin your Christmas – that is the warning to people heading into the city this weekend on the hunt for last minute festive bargains.

Checking for parked cars where Christmas presents have been left on view, Norwich based PCSO's Verity Newton and Martyn Laycock.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAYChecking for parked cars where Christmas presents have been left on view, Norwich based PCSO's Verity Newton and Martyn Laycock. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

The message comes from Sergeant Keith Philpot, of the Norwich East Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), whose officers have been conducting regular patrols of city centre car parks in the run-up to Christmas.

He said: “It’s an opportunistic crime and has such an impact on the victim, particularly now in times of austerity. Most people are working to a budget and its probably harder for most than it ever has been.

“People go out in the morning, do their shopping, take their stuff back to the car and think they will have a coffee or lunch and forget.”

Sgt Philpot said simple measures like not leaving presents or any other items on view and making sure vehicles are locked can make all the difference in terms of whether or not they have a good Christmas.

However, a patrol of one city centre car park shows the message is still not getting through to many people.

The Norwich Evening News accompanied Police Community Support Officers Martyn Laycock and Verity Newton on patrol in St Giles multi-storey car park yesterday. In just under an hour we found presents on view in cars on nine of the 10 levels, with a total of 55 vehicles with items on display, many of which were presents, some wrapped, placed on back seats, or in footwells or boots, but not covered.

PCSO Laycock, who revealed it was typical of what might be found in any other car park in the city at this time of year, said: “I think sometimes people just don’t think it’s going to happen to them. People who have never had it done to them don’t think it’s going to happen to them. It’s just a matter of educating them.”

Motorists with items found on display had their details taken and will be sent a letter offering crime prevention advice.