Dean Russell visited Toyota in Watford last week to support British Transport Police’s new initiative ‘Protect, Mark, Park’, promoting the protection of catalytic converters in response to a surge in thefts across Hertfordshire.
Research from the RAC and insurer Ageas has found that a spike in the value of precious metals has caused a surge of thefts in lockdown, with catalytic converters containing metals such as platinum and rhodium, which have increased in price by 200% since March last year.
Toyota Watford were on hand to demonstrate to Watford’s MP exactly how cars can be protected, through innovative technology such as SmartWater. It is hoped that by marking converters, this will deter Organised Crime Groups from targeting vehicles in car parks, on the street or even at victims’ home addresses.
After meeting with Superintendent Mark Cleland from British Transport Police and CPO Darren Cowell from Hertfordshire Police, Dean Russell said, “Catalytic converter theft continues to be an issue not just across Watford, but across Hertfordshire and the rest of the country.
Catalytic converter theft is not a victimless crime, leaving drivers out of pocket or even without a car with many being written off as a result of converter theft.
Prevention plays just as important a role as detection. I’m pleased to be able to support BTP’s new initiative and have seen for myself how easy it is for cars to be protected, which could save drivers thousands. That being said, I would encourage anyone to report suspicious activity to the police by calling 101, or 999 if an offence is in progress.”