POLICE have issued security advice after a spate of van thefts in Barnsley.

Crime Reduction Officer Dene Tinker says van owners should be vigilant by removing valuables overnight and take additional security measures.

He said: “It’s vital that owners and drivers are vigilant. We know it may take time at the end of a long day’s work to remove valuables and tools but we do recommend you do so, especially overnight.

“I also appreciate it isn’t always an option for those who have nowhere else to keep them. If this is the case, please consider investing in a robust van vault where you can lock away your most valuable tools.

“I would also advise that all van owners fit additional security such as loading door keepers where possible to prevent door peeling. Fit an alarm and boost security by installing additional locks, lock plates or deadlocks independently of the manufactures. This will increase security of any items inside the van and they offer a visual deterrent on the outside of the van.

“Power tools are obviously very expensive and sought after items, owners should take the time to mark their property which makes it easier to identify and harder for the criminals to dispose of. You can also register your items and list any serial numbers on schemes such as Immobilise.”

He also issued the following advice:

• Think how and where you park your vehicle at night. Try to park in well-lit, secure areas which are covered by CCTV.

• Park your car/van against a solid object like a wall, garage door or lamppost to make it harder to access.

• Insure your work tools where possible. Some policies state that you cannot store tools in your van unless you meet certain security requirements. Don’t get caught out, please check.

If you see anything suspicious, please call 101 or 999 if it’s an emergency. For further crime prevention advice and to report a crime online, please visit southyorks.police.uk.