THE targeting of cars by petty criminals will be addressed by the new Policing and Community Policing Partnership (PCPP) for South Belfast when it’s opened to the public later this year.

Cops and councillors, along with other members of the new body, will try and encourage locals to be more aware of car crime, following a recent theft in the Stranmillis area. Police this week revealed details of the incident on Monday June 18, when two males smashed the windscreen of a red Mini car parked on Stranmillis Street and grabbed a handbag that was visible on a seat.

The culprits were spotted running off in the direction of Ridgeway Street, and police have urged anyone with information on the incident to contact them.

SDLP councillor Claire Hannah said locals needed to be more aware of such crimes to prevent them happening in the first place, and said the issue would be a priority for the new PCPP forum, when its first public meeting is held in the Autumn. The new group has replaced the old District Policing Partnerships, and members of the public will be invited to attend open meetings after the summer.

“People really need to be aware of this crime, and if you leave valuables on display inside your car, they can attract attention,” she said.

“The PSNI have done what they can in terms of putting notices in high risk areas, but the public still need reminders, and so come the autumn, when the first local public PCPP meetings are held, this will be on the agenda, among other issues of concern.

“They will be a chance to build on the work of the old DPPs and make sure the public has a say in the policing of their areas.”