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UK police ‘steal’ from cars for your own good

Press TV [1]
Thursday, August 27, 2009

Police in the UK capital of London have started taking valuable items from unlocked cars in a bid to help motorists discourage theft.

The new measure allows police officers to sneak into unlocked parked vehicles and take away objects of value left incautiously in the cars, British media quoted a new Scotland Yard statement as saying.

Car owners in the Richmond upon Thames area of South-West London, where the measure has been introduced, have found their valuables including handbags, laptops and satellite navigation devices gone missing after returning to their automobiles.

Indiscreet motorists would see notes on their cars, warning them to ‘remove the property for safekeeping’ before the police exercises the ‘tough love’ policy in order to stem theft from cars, which has shown a 40-percent rise in the region over the past several months.

[2]

“The message to car owners is: ‘Help us to help you,'” AP quoted Richmond Police Chief Inspector Duncan Slade as saying on Wednesday.

The latest stunt carried out by the British police has sparked controversy over possible damages that could be done to personal belongings in the course of the inspections and retrieval of the confiscated items.

However, the metropolitan’s law enforcement branch insists that the bid would merely safeguard the repossession of properties abandoned in vehicles with open doors or windows.