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Key Message

Who's watching you in the car park?

New Forest visitors leaving their vehicles in public car parks are urged to take all their valuables with them.

"Thieves may be watching your movements in the car park when you arrive for a walk in the forest, to attend an event or park to go shopping," said Cllr Jill Cleary, NFDC portfolio holder for housing and communities.

"If you leave valuables on view in the car or even place them in the boot, you run the risk of returning to find the car damaged and your belongings stolen."

Since the Safer New Forest Partnership raised concerns earlier this year, there has been a significant reduction in thefts from motor vehicles - but visitors should not become complacent.

It advises drivers and their passengers to remove all valuable items - including bags, coats, satnavs, mobiles and laptops - from their parked vehicles and to lock their vehicle securely.

New Forest Chief Inspector Simon Tribe said: "Car crime does occur in the New Forest, especially at beauty spot car parks. The police are doing a lot to combat it, including regular patrols, but people can help us to further reduce the problem by taking some simple crime prevention measures like making sure car doors are locked and removing all valuables."

A bright yellow Hampshire Constabulary notice stating: 'No valuables have been left in this vehicle' are available free of charge from New Forest District Council information centres.