Sign up for free catalytic converter marking event

Cambridgeshire Police have a free catalytic converter marking day in Huntingdon on July 17.

Cambridgeshire Police are holding a free catalytic converter marking day in Huntingdon on July 17. - Credit: HUNTS POST

The Neighbourhood Team at Cambridgeshire Constabulary is offering free catalytic converter marking to help drivers protect their vehicles against thieves.

Officers say criminals are continuing to target catalytic converters across Cambridgeshire at an average of almost two each day.

Last year, the force took 727 reports of catalytic converter thefts - which equates to a 54 per cent increase on the 2020 figure of 470.

Catalytic converters are found in the exhaust system of cars and their purpose is to reduce the output of toxic gases and pollutants. Stealing them has become popular because they are not easily identifiable and can be sold on for the precious metals found inside them.

It takes just minutes for thieves to remove a catalytic converter and on many occasions victims are unaware their vehicle has been targeted even though it had been parked on their driveway during the theft.

Catalytic converter theft most frequently occurs in car parks, but they can happen anywhere. Thieves may then sell these converters via scrapyards, online, or ship them out of the country.

Hybrid vehicles are most commonly targeted, as their metals are more valuable, but any vehicle can be at risk of catalytic converter theft.

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Cambridgeshire Constabulary will initially be offering 100 drivers the opportunity to have their vehicle marked with Selectamark kits on July 17.

Staff at Kwik Fit, in Redwongs Way, Huntingdon, will be giving up their time to carry out the free security marking, while officers will be on-hand to provide practical crime prevention advice.

Vehicle owners are urged to take advantage of this free marking which allows the police to identify stolen property and provide evidence for prosecutions. It also ensures that scrap metal merchants have a way of detecting stolen items and can refuse to purchase them.

Sergeant Jess Clarke said: “We’ve increased dedicated patrols and held multiple weeks of action to catch those responsible as well as visiting scrap metal dealers and offering people crime prevention advice and we will continue to do so.

If you would like your vehicle to be marked, you will need to register at: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/free-catalytic-converter-marking-tickets and provide your name, registration number and email address/phone number as well as your preferred time to attend. Once registration is closed you will be given an allocated time to attend between 10am and 2pm.

You can find more information about catalytic converter theft on the Cambridgeshire Police website.