TIM DREW: Stop yourself from being a theft victim

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FOLLOWING a slight increase in the theft of tools from vans in recent weeks, Sussex Police has asked van owners to bear the following in mind in order to prevent their becoming victims themselves:

:: Always check your doors are locked before leaving your vehicle unattended.

:: If you have to park on the street, try to park in a well- lit area near any CCTV cameras.

:: Consider alarming the vehicle or fitting an internal security cage.

:: Avoid leaving tools and equipment unattended or in the van overnight but, if this is not possible, use heavy metal lockable storage trunks which can be bolted inside a van and fitted wiith an alarm.

:: Visibly mark your machinery and tools using an engraving or chemical etching kit or use a forensic marking kit. Place a sticker in your van’s window to say you have done so.

:: Keep a list of tools, together with serial numbers and any identifying marks. You can do this at www.immobilise.com

Sussex Police also advises that fund-raising activities are being conducted by Appco Group Support, which will visit households to promote the work of the British Red Cross up to the end of this month.

Its aim will be to recruit long-term regular supporters by means of signing a direct debit pledge form.

All fund-raisers will be identified by a photo ID badge and Appco Group Support will be operating a free phone customer service helpline (0800 031 9811) should there be any queries.

PCSO Nicola Burstow (Broadwater) will be holding surgeries on Sunday, March 24, and Thursday, March 28, both between 3.30-4.30pm at The Community House, 25 Dominion Road.

PCSO Ben Cruise (Tarring) will host his on Thursday, March 28, between 11am and noon, at West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring.

A Neighbourhood Panel Meeting for Goring ward is also to be held that day, between 7-8pm at Highdown Towers.