The majority of this type of crime is opportunistic, and occurs because valuables have been left on view or the vehicle left insecure. If a vehicle is left insecure it only takes 10 seconds for your valuables to be stolen.
- Close your windows and sunroof, lock all doors and activate any security devices when leaving the vehicle even for a few minutes. Check your doors manually as automatic locking devices can sometimes be affected by electronic interference.
- Take all valuables including sunglasses with you if you can. If you are unable to take them from the vehicle, lock them in the boot or place them out of view.
- Fit a locking petrol cap if your vehicle doesn’t already have one. Fit anti tamper screws on your number plates and locking wheel nuts if not standard to your vehicle.
- Remove parking permits, radio face plates and portable satellite navigation systems including their cradle ensuring to wipe the window where the satellite navigation holder may have left a visible mark.
- Consider getting a steering lock or gearstick lock and pedal box to improve security of your unattended vehicle.
- Park with care, particularly at night or if you are leaving the vehicle for some time. If possible always park in a busy, well lit area. Managed car park facilities may be a better choice a list of police approved safer car parks can be found at the British Parking Association website.
- Never leave your keys in the vehicle, even if you are just leaving it for a few seconds. Try to avoid leaving car keys close to your front door or in a visible location. A thief can reach in using a hand or device and steal the keys to your vehicle. Fitting a plate to the rear of the letterbox opening can prevent this.
- If a vehicle is left insecure it only take 10 seconds for your valuables to be stolen.
Advice for van owners
- If you are staying in a hotel, where possible remove your tools from your van and keep them in your room overnight.
- Don't assume your vehicle has locked properly using a key fob lock. Criminals can use devices which block the signal. Always check your doors are locked before leaving your vehicle unattended.
- If you have a garage, use it. If your van is parked on a driveway, consider installing security lighting. If neither of these apply, try to park in well lit areas.
- Consider alarming the vehicle or fitting an internal security cage when tools and equipment are not being used, ensure they are kept securely in a lockable store rather than in your vehicle.
- Consider whether the storage area can be alarmed. If the equipment is portable, take it with you.
- Don’t leave tools in vehicles unattended or overnight, and place a sign in the window stating they have been removed.
- Lock/immobilise vehicles and equipment when not in use.
- Visibly mark your machinery and tools using an engraving or chemical etching kit or use a forensic marking kit. Place a sticker in your window to say you have done so - the signage alone, can be a very effective deterrent.
- Keep a list of tools, together with serial numbers and any identifying marks. You can do this at www.immobilise.com. This will help to trace them back to you if they are recovered.
- Consider the use of security patrols around building sites.
- Keep the access to building sites secure – fences and gates help prevent unauthorised entry.
Advice for caravan owners
- Downloadable booklet - Steer Clear of Caravan Crime
For further advice, please visit the national Ask The Police website.