Newquay car crime is double that of St Austell
THIEVES have targeted vehicles in Newquay almost twice a week for the past five years, the Cornish Guardian has learnt.
Crime statistics released under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act reveal that nearly 450 vehicles have been broken into and had possessions stolen since November 2007.
This means nearly two thefts have been carried out every week – almost double that in St Austell which, according to figures, saw nearly two every fortnight.
The FOI results show Narrowcliff to be the worst hit, having seen 17 thefts from vehicles in total.
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Other hotspots include Edgcumbe Avenue and Mount Wise which both saw 16 thefts from vehicles, St Thomas Road, Trevenson Road, East Street and Cliff Road all saw 12, while Edgcumbe Gardens, Ulalia Road and Trebarwith Crescent were hit by 10 thefts from vehicles.
However, Newquay police said there was not a specific problem with vehicle crime at the resort, which has been "comparatively low" in the past six to eight months.
Newquay Inspector Dave Meredith told the Cornish Guardian that his force takes vehicle crime "very seriously".
"From the victim's perspective; just one theft from a motor vehicle is one too many," he said.
"It's a well-known statistic that thefts of motor vehicles are very low due to advances in technology. It's very difficult to steal a car these days.
"But there is still a problem [nationally] with thefts from motor vehicles.
"We will continue to monitor the situation and if we notice any increase I will deploy resources appropriately."
The statistics show thefts from vehicles in Newquay, and do not include the theft of a vehicle or criminal damage to vehicles.
The data, obtained from the beats of Newquay Edgecombe North, Newquay Edgecombe South, Newquay Fistral and Pentire, show there were 442 thefts from vehicles between November 2007 and November this year.
Dave Sleeman, chairman of Newquay Residents' Association, said the thefts total was "quite high" but felt that with the population increase during the summer in the town "it could be a lot worse".
"The results are very random," he said. "They show hotspots such as Narrowcliff and others. These roads are dark at night.
"The problem is that there is no parking in Newquay. Many cars are forced to park on the roads as many of the houses were built before we had cars.
"People must make sure their belongings are not on show and if they can, they should park their car on a drive or a secured area."
He added that he did not know of anyone who had had their possessions stolen from a vehicle.