THEFTS of catalytic converters from cars have soared in the region.
In the first three months of this year, there were nearly 600 reported thefts across Yorkshire – a whopping 78 per cent up on the same period in 2020.
Now Crimestoppers has launched a region-wide campaign encouraging people to come forward, anonymously, with information about those behind the crime.
The effort is backed by the Neighbourhood Watch Network.
A catalytic converter cleans fumes before they leave an exhaust pipe. All new cars sold in Europe since 1993 must be fitted with one by law.
An increase in the value of metals found within converters has made them increasingly desirable to thieves.
Gemma Gibbs, the Yorkshire & Humberside regional manager at Crimestoppers, said: "With an increase in people working from home or being furloughed because of the pandemic, thieves are taking full advantage of this as more cars are parked in driveways or on the street during the day. We know there have been cases where criminals have threatened victims who have tried to confront them and some drivers have been repeatedly targeted.
"We realise it can be difficult to speak-up about crime, especially if it’s about someone you know. Please remember you can speak to Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously and you will be doing the right thing, to keep your community safe from crime. For 33 years since our charity started, thousands of people have contacted us daily with their crime information. You can call our UK contact centre 24/7 on 0800 555 111 for free, or you can complete a simple, secure anonymous online form at Crimestopers-uk.org. Only you will know you contacted us."
John Hayward-Cripps, of the Neighbourhood Watch Network, said: “With catalytic converter thefts on the rise it is important we remain vigilant about where we park our cars and what is going on around us. Whenever possible, we encourage you to park your car in busy, well-lit areas, or areas with CCTV coverage."