Police appeal for public to lock up

Officers in the Banff and Buchan area are appealing for the public to be vigilant and keep their valuables locked away and secure.
Officers in the Banff and Buchan area are appealing for the public to be vigilant and keep their valuables locked away and secure.

Officers in the Banff and Buchan area are appealing for the public to be vigilant and keep their valuables locked away and secure following opportunistic and acquisitive crime in the area.

In recent weeks Police have repeatedly urged the public to ensure their properties, garages and vehicles are locked at all times following numerous incidents across the North East in which vehicles and valuables have been stolen.

In the past 24 hours suspicious incidents have been reported in Fraserburgh and Rosehearty, with a white Range Rover being taken from outside a property in the Rosehearty area.

Detective Constable Richard Cooper said: "We are lucky to live in communities with relatively low crime levels which can make it easy to become complacent when you think the area you live is not a target. However it has emerged recently that there is a group of criminals who will travel all over the North East to target your property and who don't appear to care who or what they target.

"Unfortunately in the majority of cases thieves have succeeded when doors have been left insecure so I must therefore urge the public to ensure your properties, garages and vehicles are locked and that valuables are kept out of sight at all times. In many cases thieves are simply trying house and car doors until they find one unlocked, will pick up your keys within seconds and can leave the area quickly and with ease.

"In addition by leaving your property insecure you are essentially - albeit inadvertently - assisting in their crime which could negate any insurance claim given the circumstances. In the majority of cases there is one very simple solution, and that's to lock up."

Operation Magpie was launched in North East Division earlier this year to target acquisitive crime following on from successes with long-standing Operation Ruby.

DC Cooper added: "A huge amount of intelligence-led work is carried out on a day-to-day basis to prevent this type of crime occurring in the first place and to detect the individuals responsible if the worst does happen. We need help from the public though to lock up from the outset and ensure these people don't stand a chance.

"I would also urge you to report any suspicious activity to us as quickly as possible so we can deploy the right resources to the right places and at the right times. Please contact Police on 101 if you have concerns, or 999 if it is an emergency."