Canterbury Police hand out steering wheel locks, anti-theft plate screws in effort to reduce number of stolen, tampered-with cars

Canterbury Police are running crime prevention events in an effort to reduce the number of cars being tampered with or stolen.

This comes as the amount of vehicle thefts nationwide continues to rise, with almost 1000 more cars stolen last year than three years ago.

Getting the right gear in, to keep the thieves out.

"It's not necessarily going to solve the problem but it's certainly going to be able to help prevent and slow people down," said Constable Grant Ross.

The Neighbourhood Policing Team is handing out free steering wheel locks and anti-theft licence plate screws to owners of cars that are commonly stolen.

"The Subaru Impreza, the Mazda Demios, the Toyota MarkX, Toyota Aqua and Nissan Tiida," said Constable Ross. 

Nationwide, in 2019, 3868 cars were stolen, in 2020 3906 taken, in 2021 4480 and in 2022 4732 were taken, not including December figures.

Thursday's lesson in prevention was a move to try and bring those numbers down.

"It's opportunists and if they see a wheel lock it's going to take quite a bit of time to try and get that off, and also they will attempt to get the plates off and it's just so difficult so they just move on," said Hornby community patrol officer Ali Loffhagen.

And it's gone down well with locals.

"I have some anti-theft screws for my licence plate, it just gives an added sense of security that plates aren't going to be nicked," one local said.

While another added: "We have a Mazda Demio for my daughter and it's been broken into twice in the last 12 months since we moved into the neighbourhood, so obviously want to try and protect as much as we can."

"It's a good idea because so many cars go missing," said a third local woman.

Because Police are happy to help lock up cars as well as criminals.