Police are warning the public to expect potential traffic disruption in and around Plymouth on Sunday [18 March] due to a planned ride out by owners of work vans.
A large number of work vans are expected to travel around the city in convoy to bring attention to a recent rise in thefts from vans in Plymouth and across the Force.
Leaving Lee Mill at 11 am, they will travel to Ivybridge, south on the A38 to the Tamar Bridge and into the city centre via Gydnia Way, Exeter Street, Notte Street and Union Street before heading to Plymouth Albion ground.
Sector Inspector Nick Lindsey, from Plymouth police, said: “We are aware of the planned ride out by tradespeople to bring public attention to the recent rise in thefts from work vans.
“We have been in regular contact with the organisers and we will be in attendance on Sunday to ensure a peaceful demonstration takes place and to keep public disruption on the roads to a minimum. Road safety advice has been provided to the event organisers.
“Police have seen a sharp increase in the number of reported thefts from vans in Plymouth and across the Force area since January. Offenders are gaining entry to vans, often causing little or no damage, and particularly targeting them for expensive power tools.
“Police are taking this matter very seriously and are conducting an investigation into the recent rise in offences. We have dedicated officers looking at this issue for Plymouth and the wider Force area.
“Neighbourhood officers have previously met with organisers and participants of Sunday’s event to discuss their concerns, the police action being taken, and to provide advice on the preventative measures they can take to help reduce the risk of their vehicles being targeted by thieves.
“We will be at Plymouth Albion on Sunday to offer further crime prevention and policing advice to the van owners. We are asking them and the wider public to report thefts, attempted thefts or any suspicious behaviour seen around vans in their neighbourhood as soon as possible to assist police with these enquiries.
“I would ask people to remove valuable tools from vans overnight where possible. We are also encouraging owners to fit additional locks and to consider marking tools and equipment, whether it be engraving their name or using another distinctive marking.”
Further advice can be found at: https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/advice/your-business/tools-at-risk/