The Crime Prevention Website

I spent last weekend in the old wool town of Warminster in Wiltshire where I spent a very pleasant afternoon and evening at a garden party hosted by a couple of friends and supporters of this website. The weather was mild and sunny, but with a lazy cold wind that made the wearing of shorts a bit of a gamble.

On the Sunday we made our way to the man-made lake of Shearwater, part of the Longleat estate and close to the village of Crockerton. The rhododendrons were still out, as were the boats of the Shearwater Sailing Club, and I must say the views and our walk around the lake through its skirting woodland was very pleasant indeed.

So why am I telling you about this? Well, it was the car park. 

At some point in its recent history there have clearly been a number of car crimes. This was evidenced by the fact that the police or car park owners had attached a number of those day-glow Home Office crime prevention posters to the trees advising motorists to lock their cars and not leave things on view and so on.  With that reminder I removed my friend’s leather jacket from the back seat and stuck it in the boot and, of course, locked the car and set the alarm.

On my return to the car park, out of curiosity, I glanced at the contents of the cars parked near mine. In one was a rather nice faux fur coat lying across the back seat, in another was what appeared to be a small laptop left behind the front passenger seat and in another was a cardboard drinks carrier containing four bottles of Prosecco. Clearly the posters’ messages are not reaching their intending audience as planned! 

The other odd thing about the place was that we were all meant to have paid 50p to park there and yet the wooden hut, just across the road where we were to pay, was closed and unmanned. This meant that there was no formal surveillance of the car park, although I have to admit that the cashier’s view of the car park would have been limited even if he or she had been present.

In spite of all this I still felt safe and as I had followed the advice I was confident that my car would not be targeted, which of course it wasn’t.

So, for those people out there who are charged with preventing crime can I reinforce the facts that

  • Crime prevention posters have a shelf-life and need to be changed from time to time
  • Crime prevention posters will not be seen, read or followed by all
  • And in that light car park operators who make a charge for parking should always try to man the car park and reinforce the crime prevention messages

I have absolutely no idea if car crime in that small car park is as bad as the poster displays seem to suggest and nor do I know when the posters were put up, but if there is a reoccurring problem then this is mainly caused by the opportunities that we present to the thief, so those of us who park there should at least be following the advice.

There; I’ve had my say, which is the benefit of running my own website!

Vehicle Crime Prevention:

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