GMP launch new operation to dent the increase of car thefts in Trafford
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‘Operation Lexford’ aims to robustly tackle vehicle theft in Trafford following an increase of vehicles being stolen from shopping centre car parks.
Since the creation of the operation on 10 January 2023, officers have made 11 arrests and recovered 1 vehicle.
We are seeing a trend of offenders using signal jamming and scanning devices to steal vehicles, specifically Range Rovers and Ford Fiesta cars.
GMP have been working in partnership with the Trafford Centre security team and together we have now set up ‘Operation Lexford’ to prevent crime and target those who are coming to Trafford to steal specific types of vehicles.
Chief Inspector Shoheb Chowdhury of GMP’s Trafford District, said: “This operation is an excellent example of GMP’s commitment to tackling vehicle crime across Greater Manchester.
"A lot of the work GMP does to tackle the issue may not be visible but catching those responsible remains a force priority.
“Cars are of great value to people and we understand that having a car stolen can have a huge impact both financially and emotionally.
“As part of the operation, there will be an increased police presence at Trafford Centre and we will be holding weekly police surgeries with focus on providing people with tailored crime prevention advice.
"We will continue to work to bring offenders to justice, but I would ask that the public to help us to help them, by being vigilant when visiting the Trafford Centre, and to follow our simple crime prevention advice found on the crime prevention page on our website.
A spokesperson from Trafford Centre said, “Our security and customer services teams take car theft very seriously and we are working closely with Greater Manchester Police on this issue.
“We minimise car theft on-site through the use of ANPR, CCTV and camera patrols so all vehicles entering and leaving the car parks are monitored and logged.
“This data and footage is made available to GMP as required. We also deploy high profile patrols in all car parks to deter thieves and run multiple police operations on-site to apprehend offenders.”
There are a number of ways to minimise the threat of a vehicle being taken when it is parked:
Double check that your car is locked when leaving it, don’t just rely on the fob as signals can be blocked, preventing vehicles locking.
Invest in a faraday bag – they are lined with metal material and could help block the key’s signal.
Don’t leave any valuables on display in your car, even loose change can attract attention.
Invest in a tracking device – it won’t stop the vehicle being stolen, but it can significantly increase the chances of police locating and returning a vehicle to the rightful owner.
Fitting a steering wheel lock can reduce opportunities for theft. They are a visual deterrent and can slow an offender down.
As always, stay vigilant and if you notice anything unusual or suspicious, please report it to the police via the LiveChat facility on gmp.police.uk or call 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.