crime is one of the largest single type of crime being committed to
date - one of the reasons why the government has set a target of a 30%
reduction by the year 2003.
Three quarters of incidents took place during the evening or at night, with 37% occurring between midnight and 6am.
The main locations for the offences were in the street by their home. 17% occurred in public car parks. (BCS 2000)
The most commonly stolen items from vehicles were car parts (37%) and car radios (24%) but an increase in the number of tools, mobile phones and laptop computers reflect the increased availability of these items.
Due to motor manufacturers adding security features to vehicles at the design stage the number of vehicles stolen has steadily declined over the last few years. The majority of stolen vehicles fall into the 4-7 year old group. Theft of property from vehicles continues to represent the bulk of autocrime committed in the UK.
KEEP property OUT of sight!
most important message in reducing a theft from a vehicle is
to keep all property out of sight put it in the boot
or in the case of an item like a laptop, take it with you.
Most vehicles attacked are parked in a pub or hotel car park for a relatively short time or in railway station car parks where the offenders know the owners are not likely to return for some time. In Motorway Service areas arrested offenders have told police how they have watched for businessmen placing their laptops in the boot. The majority of vehicles attacked had a laptop, mobile phone or briefcase left on the seat or footwell. It sounds a simple message but it still needs spreading....please pass on this warning, particularly among business colleagues.
If you have a modern radio with detachable facia, remove it if the car is left out in a vulnerable parking area. do not put it in the dashboard that is the first place the offender will look. Never leave vehicle documents, cheque or credit cards in the dashboard either.
Locks and Alarms...
you have an alarm system, preferably with an engine immobiliser,
Don't forget to set it! and Lock your car! I won't
say anything more on such an obvious point...but you will be
surprised how many drivers don't!
If you haven't got an alarm on your vehicle you should get one fitted, particularly if you have to regularly park in the street, they are not too expensive for a basic model. Anything less would be a compromise in favour of the offender. Bear in mind the one which requires a voltage drop to trigger it, ie door being opened and interior light comes on, will not stop the 'smash & grab' offender who reaches through the broken window. Aim for one which detects movement within the vehicle. Your vehicle being parked on your driveway is as much a target as one on the street. On occasions owners asleep in a bedroom above the driveway, with the window open, had not heard an attack on their car.
nuts are a relatively small price to pay to secure valuable
wheels, especially expensive alloy models. Cars can often be
stolen, driven to a remote area just to take the wheels. You
can guarantee the car will be left on its hubs causing further
damage on recovery!