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Manchester Says No to Car Crime

Published on March 8th 2006.

It's hard not to feel a little nervous when you're returning alone to your car at night, and everybody knows somebody who has been mugged or had their car broken into at some point. Manchester Confidential's Gemma for example, had a nasty shock only the other week when she returned to her car to find the windows put through.

To the approving nods of car owners everywhere, yesterday saw Coronation Street hairdresser Maria turn her back on the cobbles of Weatherfield for a day to launch a new campaign in aid of cutting down car crime in Manchester. (Hurray! - Gemma)

Park Mark Safer Parking is a new scheme that aims to help motorists find safer places to park. The Park Mark award will be given to car parks that pass a Police assessment on a number of crime reduction criteria. These criteria include utilising lighting, staff patrols and other measures to create a safer parking environment.

Latest government figures have revealed that last year saw 21,008 incidents of car-related crime in Manchester, which equates to one car being stolen or vandalized 58 times a day! That's why Park Mark Safer Parking has been developed by the Association of Chief Police Officers and supported by Greater Manchester Police force and the Home Office.

Samia Smith comments: "Park Mark is a great idea. If you're loading the car with shopping, you can't see what's going on around you, so you can feel vulnerable. It's also really daunting returning to your car alone when it's dark. Car parks with the Park Mark logo give you peace of mind that everything has been done to make the area as safe as possible. I'd encourage everyone to park only where they see the logo."

The Home Office Regional Director for the North West, David Smith, said: “Car crime has far reaching consequences and there is far too much of it. There is the immediate impact on the victims – the anger, the annoyance, the frustration and the inconvenience – and there are the longer term effects, including the cost of increased insurance premiums. Car crime casts a shadow over all our communities and leads to a disproportionate fear of crime. That’s why the Park Mark scheme is important – it allows people to choose a car park where they know action has been taken to keep them and their vehicle safe.”

So next time you're looking for somewhere to park your car for the evening, look out for the blue Park Mark sign!

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