As safe as we all make it

Targetting vehicle crime in Wigan & Leigh

Tuesday 25th November 2008 (ref: GMP/2451/2008)

Don't leave anything on view in your car to tempt thieves

Police in Wigan and partnership agencies are joining together for a force-wide day of action to bring down vehicle crime.

Operation Battenberg, which takes place on Friday 21 November, is a multi-agency initiative that will see extra resources being used to support the police’s ongoing work.

Between 1 August and 13 November 2008 there were 1,010 offences across the borough, mainly occurring overnight at weekends, with 626 (62 per cent) of these being thefts from vehicles.

The operation will see police community support officers (PCSOs) carrying out high-profile patrols in hot spot areas to provide public reassurance and to distribute crime prevention literature and security-screw kits for number plates.

PCSOs will also visit public car parks to identify vehicles with valuables left on display. Between 7am and 11am a service will be provided at Asda and Sainsbury’s petrol forecourts in Leigh, where satellite-navigation devices and other valuables can be security-marked.

In another phase of the operation, officers will seize any vehicles being driven without a licence or insurance, and will work with a vehicle recovery agency to remove untaxed vehicles from the road.

By seizing these vehicles, officers are helping to make the roads safer, as uninsured drivers are more likely to have been convicted of driving unroadworthy vehicles and drink-driving.

Police will also conduct joint visits with Wigan Council's Trading Standards team to second-hand outlets and scrap-metal dealers to target those handling stolen goods.

Chief Inspector Andy Baddeley of Wigan Division said: “Operation Battenberg is not only a day of enforcement, but also has an important reassurance and educational role. Reducing vehicle crime remains one of our top priorities, and we need people to realise that by removing valuables from their cars they can greatly reduce their chances of becoming a victim of crime.”

To report crime, call police on 0161 872 5050 or report it online at

Only call 999 in an emergency where there is a threat to life or a crime in progress.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For further information contact: Max Bowie, GMP Divisional Communications Officer for Wigan, on 0161 856 7263 / 2284 or 07979 706797


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