North East Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes has praised Grampian Police for its success in tackling a spate of vehicle thefts in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
Mrs McInnes said: “I have been impressed by the way officers have been able to track down those responsible and recover the vehicles.
“The figures speak for themselves. Since the beginning of October last year 120 vehicles have been stolen – 95 in Aberdeen and 25 in Aberdeenshire. Subsequently 115 were recovered, with 86 people aged between 12 and 30 were reported to the procurator fiscal.
“Grampian Police tell me that more than 90 per cent of these vehicles were taken by using the key. Youths were sneaking into houses, taking the keys, and simply driving off.
“I am told that the cars were taken for no purpose other than to be driven recklessly around the streets of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire as some sort of status symbol.
“I would appeal to householders to make sure that their properties are secured and that car keys are not left in an obvious place.
“Grampian Police have been promoting this crime prevention message through the media and by delivering leaflets to thousands of homes. It seems to be working as officers recently checked 1400 house doors and found only three insecure. Reports of stolen vehicles have decreased.
“It is important the work continues in diverting vulnerable young people away from such mindless activities.”