Focus on Crime – Preventing Vehicle Crime
There has been a concerning rise of car thefts in the UK over recent years. In fact, vehicle thefts in England and Wales are at their highest in a decade. It’s estimated that a vehicle is stolen every 7 minutes.
This shocking figure is backed up by vehicle crime statistics that suggest 130,389 vehicles were stolen in 2022, an increase of 25% compared to 2021 (where around 104,435 were stolen) and, with these increasing thefts, motorists’ insurance premiums are spiralling well above inflation.
These latest increases also coincide with a spike in keyless car crime, which is now the most common tactic used by organised criminals to steal highly sought after vehicles.
Most of these thefts, of and from vehicles, are preventable. Motorists can help us turn the tide of this crime wave by adopting basic crime prevention measures.
Help us put the brakes on crime.
Keep your keys safe and secure.
A signal blocking faraday pouch can prevent thieves from being able to duplicate the signal from your keyless entry key fob. You can test the effectiveness of these pouches by inserting your key into the pouch and attempting to open your vehicle.
Lock car doors.
While this may seem obvious, 44% of car thefts occur because cars have been left unlocked, doors or car windows open. Opportunistic thieves walk along checking for unlocked vehicles to target.
Never leave your car engine running and unattended.
Leaving your vehicle unattended, with keys in the ignition, a huge crime risk, even if it’s parked on your own private driveway. Your insurer may also invalidate any subsequent claim.
Keep valuables out of sight.
Remove all valuables from your vehicle to deter opportunistic thieves. Items left in plain view, such as laptops, smartphones, or bags, attract car thieves.
Fit additional security.
This can include steering wheel locks, immobilisers or car alarms which make thefts more difficult. Research has shown that vehicles equipped with visible security features are less likely to be targeted by thieves.
Install digital security.
Doorbell cameras and domestic CCTV systems are becoming increasingly popular to deter car thieves and pursue those responsible.
If you have a garage, use it!
If you have multiple vehicles, garage the one of the highest value and park the other car in front of the garage door as an extra precaution.
Think about where you park overnight.
80% of car crime occurs during the evening or overnight. If you do not have off-street parking, try to leave your car in a well-lit area, ideally with CCTV coverage, and in a position that makes it difficult for a thief to move quickly.
Consider fitting a dashcam.
Many of these devices can record suspicious activity around your car whilst it is left unattended.
Driveway security floodlights.
Installing motion-activated lights on driveways or parking areas can deter thieves by illuminating a darkened space and increase the risk of would-be thieves being detected on your property.
Set up Neighbourhood Watch.
Connected communities play a vital role in helping to preventing vehicle crime. Neighbourhood Watch encourages their members to remain vigilant, report suspicious activity to the police and adopt simple crime prevention measures.
Neighbourhood Watch Network have some comprehensive crime prevention information to help you PROTECT YOUR CAR.