A motoring event aimed at reducing vehicle crime has been hailed a great success.
Suffolk Police worked alongside technicians at Volkswagen Van Centre (Bury St Edmunds) to help 36 van owners get their catalytic converters etched with their vehicle registration number, to act as a deterrent to thieves.
The day primarily targeted owners of vehicles with a high ground clearance, such as vans and 4x4s as the ease in which you can get underneath these vehicles makes them more attractive to potential thieves.
Thefts of catalytic convertors have been on the rise over recent years, so PCSO Matthew Smith for Bury East/West Safer Neighbourhood Team was delighted with the day’s success.
He said: “A shocking 37 catalytic converters have been reported stolen from motor vehicles across Suffolk in the last four months.
“We regularly hold free events like this to help local businesses and members of the public tackle this type of vehicle crime.
“This is the first time we have worked in conjunction with a van centre, but actually the collaboration with Volkswagen Van Centre Bury St Edmunds was integral to the day’s success as it meant we could inspect more vehicles than we have ever previously been able to do. Out of the 36 vehicles we checked 26 of them needed to be marked.”
Thieves target catalytic converters for the scrap metal value. The crime prevention activity saw the catalytic converters etched with the vehicle’s registration number and marked with a heat-resistant silver spray. Both elements are to act as a deterrent to thieves as well as making stolen parts easily identifiable to scrap dealers.
David Nichols, head of business at Volkswagen Van Centre (Bury St Edmunds) was delighted that so many people attended the event.
He said: “This is all about added peace of mind which is what you get with the Volkswagen brand. However, we are always looking at ways in which we can strengthen this offering.
“Based on the day’s success we are planning to host future events at our Ipswich site, Wolsey Van Centre, and here at our Bury St Edmunds site again in the new year.”
In addition to the etching service the Volkswagen Van Centre (Bury St Edmunds) team provided complimentary vehicle health checks to every van owner who attended the event.
For further information on future catalytic convertor marking events call 01284 715 900.