Keeping your vehicle secure
A thief can break into your vehicle in a minute and can either remove your property or steal the vehicle itself. If you have been a victim of this type of crime you will know the cost, inconvenience and anger it can cause.
However, by taking a few simple steps you can drastically reduce the chance of your vehicle being targeted and also reduce the fear of vehicle crime in your neighbourhoods – let’s bring crime down and don’t give them an easy ride.
Some of the simple steps you can take are:
- Lock your car in the garage if you have one.
- Fit a car alarm and/or immobiliser
- Park in safe and well lit areas
- Use security devices such as steering locks etc
- Lock windows and doors even if only leaving the car for a short time
- Don’t leave any possessions on display, even small change
Park in safe areas
You should look to park in secure car parks or areas that are well lit, busy and offer good surveillance. When leaving your car, tuck the wing mirrors in, and put the aerial down to discourage vandals.
Use security devices
Over half of car crime is ‘opportunistic’. Most criminals can be easily outsmarted by taking simple steps to secure your car.
Some vehicle security measures that can help prevent car crime include:
Thieves target alloy wheels – protect them using locking wheel nuts – they are not expensive and are easy to fit.
An effective way to prevent your vehicle, particularly older models, being stolen is to fit an immobiliser.
Steering wheel and gear lever locks are not expensive and are easy to fit.
Etch your vehicle registration number onto all glass surfaces. This can be done cheaply by car windscreen suppliers.
Ensure yours is removable or has a removable front cover, mark the stereo with a unique identifying reference using an ultraviolet marker pen.
Shut windows and lock doors
An unlocked door or an open window is an invitation to a thief and yet many people continue to leave their car unlocked or their windows open when paying for petrol, getting a car park ticket or popping into a shop – your vehicle or your property can be stolen in less than a minute.
Always close car windows and lock car doors when away from your vehicle, even for a short time.
Don’t leave anything on display
Having property and valuables on display will provide a temptation to a thief. Thefts from vehicles greatly outnumber the thefts of vehicles because opportunist thieves are tempted by property lying on the front seats, on the dashboard or in the back. Even a jacket makes a tempting target for a thief.
Any type of property that is on display is vulnerable – laptops, phones, bags, money, CDs and radios. If it is visible in an unattended vehicle a thief can quickly break the window and steal it. Remove and hide the satellite navigation cradle if you have one, and wipe the suction mark off the windscreen with a duster or wet wipe. Thieves may see the mark and then break into the vehicle.
Don’t give them an easy ride – take your property with you or lock it out of sight in the boot or a vehicle safe.
Top tips to prevent cycle theft:
- Don’t use cable or cheap D-locks. A thief can easily cut through them in seconds. Use a ‘Gold standard Sold Secure‘ D-lock – look out for the approved logo when purchasing your D-lock.
- Lock your bicycle to an immovable object using as much of the bike as possible – Don’t use your bike’s top tube, but secure it through the seat tube and rear wheel. This significantly increases the time it takes a thief to cut through the lock with an angle grinder or bolt croppers. If possible, use another D-lock on the front wheel and frame.
- Mark your bicycle and register it on a website such as BikeRegister. If your bike is stolen, this will improve the chances of the police returning your bike to you.
For more tips and advice visit The City of London Police website.