A new campaign has been launched in Northern Ireland to combat car crime after figures showed that thefts from vehicles in the province have increased by more than 5% in the past year.
The country's criminal justice minister, Paul Goggins, advised motorists not to leave valuables on show when parking their vehicles. "If thieves see it, they steal it," he said.
Criminals are particularly drawn to construction workers' vans containing expensive power tools, followed by in-car entertainment systems, handbags and purses.
Launching the campaign, Mr Goggins commented: "This campaign is a timely reminder to everyone from construction workers who carry valuable equipment to young people with high value in-car entertainment systems, that leaving them on view is an open invitation for opportunist thieves to take them.
"Through this campaign we want to remind all vehicle users, particularly at this busy time of the year, to take just a few moments to either lock away or take away your valuables with you."
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