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Car security

Crime prevention advice

Vehicle safety

Here are some simple steps you can take to make life even harder for criminals.

Most vehicle crime is opportunistic and happens as a result of a vehicle being left vulnerable or unsecured. You can help us prevent opportunist thieves from striking by following these tips.

  • Never leave anything on show in your vehicle.
  • Take your sat nav and audio equipment with you.
  • Remove the sat nav cradle and wipe away the suction marks.
  • Never leave the car with the engine running or the keys in the ignition.
  • Fit self-locking screws to prevent number plates being stolen.
  • Always lock your car and fully close windows and the sunroof.
  • Fit anti-theft devices to steering wheels, fuel caps and wheels.
  • Park in well-lit areas or secure car parks.
  • Never leave your mobile phone behind.
  • Don't store items in the boot, take them with you.
  • Don't put the stereo in the glove box.

Keep your keys safe

A car key burglary is a crime where an individual breaks into your home with the specific aim of removing your car keys and stealing your car.

Perpetrators of this crime often work to order and will target specific vehicles, based on demand and value. If a criminal is targeting a certain vehicle they will also be targeting the owner, looking for easy ways to exploit their security and get to their keys.

The most common methods used by thieves are to follow victims home or 'cruise' around residential areas looking for opportunities. If you think you are being followed or see any suspicious vehicles, take the registration number and report it to the police.

Reduce your chances of becoming a victim of car key burglars. Simple crime prevention methods are the most effective way to deter potential thieves. The more difficult you make it for them, the less likely they are to bother.

You can use a number of methods to protect both your car and home:

Protecting your car:

  • Always keep your keys somewhere safe and out of sight.
  • Always lock your car away safely in the garage, if you have one.
  • Fit a high quality alarm to your vehicle.
  • Use additional security systems such as immobilisers and visible security locks.
  • Always take your keys with you when leaving the vehicle unattended.
  • Always keep your keys safe and concealed in public places.
  • Make sure doors, windows, the boot and sunroof are secure whenever you leave your vehicle.
  • If you own more than one vehicle, park the lesser valued vehicle behind the more expensive one on the driveway, making it more difficult to remove.

Protecting your home:

  • Make sure all windows and doors are securely locked.
  • Install a high quality burglar alarm.
  • Install an exterior security lighting system.

Keyless entry vehicles

Keyless entry vehicles, although convenient, are currently an extremely easy target for theft with increasing numbers being stolen. However, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk:

  • Ensure your vehicle is properly locked and keep keys far away from doors and windows to ensure the vehicle is no longer in range of the key's signal.
  • Place keys in a metal/foil lined box or container, or another container that blocks the keys signal from reaching the vehicle when it's not in use.
  • Switch off the key's wireless signal when you don't need your vehicle. If you are unsure if the key has this function, find out in your owner's manual.
  • You could also purchase an after market security device, such as a steering wheel lock, a driveway parking post or even a wheel clamp.
  • Even if the thieves are able to access and start your car, these should prevent them from driving away. Many criminals will consider bypassing these as 'too much hassle'.
  • Other steps include checking if there are any software updates for the car itself, remaining vigilant for unusual activity in your area and having an after market immobiliser or tracker fitted.
Published 31/03/19