POLICE officers in Barnsley are urging residents to keep their vehicles safe following a surge in car crime recently.

Bosses say that thieves will be looking for easy opportunities where they can slip away without being noticed.

Detective Inspector Mark Nicholson-Gee said: “Unfortunately, we have recently seen an increase in car thefts across the force.

“People use their cars for work and getting around daily.

“We know when your car is stolen, it can have a large impact on your everyday life.

“Using a steering wheel lock can be one easy deterrent to use.

“Also parking in a well-lit street, and in a secure car park or driveway where possible.”

Other police advice to help prevent vehicle theft includes:

Removing all valuables from inside the vehicle, including phones, house keys, bags, purses and wallets

Closing all windows and ensuring your vehicle is locked every time you leave it

Keeping your keys safe and out of view when at home. If your car has keyless entry, make sure you store your keys away from your front door to stop signal boosting devices

Inspector Nicholson-Gee adds: “South Yorkshire Police are dedicated to tackling crimes that affect neighbourhoods and vehicle crime is a priority. We are working with communities, partners and manufacturers to help prevent vehicle crime, whilst being robust to identify and prosecute offenders using all available methods at our disposal.

“If you do see anyone acting suspiciously or a crime taking place, we encourage you to please call us on 999 to report it.”