It can take as little as 10 seconds for a thief to steal something from your car – so never leave valuables inside.

The Safer New Forest Partnership urges drivers to take simple steps to keep their vehicles and contents safe when left in car parks this Spring.

“Most vehicle crime is preventable. Don’t make your car a target for thieves by leaving such sought-after items as CDs, mobiles and laptops on show,” said Cllr Jill Cleary, NFDC portfolio holder for housing and communities.

“Always check you have closed all your windows and locked the doors before leaving your car unattended.”

Hampshire police advise:

  • Close the windows and sunroof; lock the doors and activate any security devices when leaving your car unattended.
  • If possible, park in view of the road in rural car parks, park in busy areas or in well-lit surroundings, especially at night. If you see anybody acting suspiciously around a car, please report it immediately to the police on 999.
  • Remove all your valuables from the car – including bags, electronic equipment, credit cards, vehicle documents and the SatNav – and wipe away the Sat Nav suction mark on your windscreen.
  • Fit anti-tamper screws to your number plate.

New Forest Chief Inspector Tony Rowlinson said: “Car crime does occur in the district and local police teams are doing a lot to combat it. But drivers are asked to help us outsmart the criminal by not leaving any personal belongings in their cars. “Don’t be tempted to merely put items in the boot, under a seat or cover them with a blanket.

“It doesn’t take long for a car thief to strike while you are enjoying a walk in the forest or out shopping, so please use these crime prevention measures.”

A bright yellow Hampshire Constabulary notice is available which can be displayed in vehicles stating: ‘No valuables have been left in this vehicle.’ They are available free of charge from NFDC information offices.

Log on to and find out what is being done to make your community a safer place for everyone.