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Vehicle crime

Advice on how to protect your vehicles from theft or damage.

Here are some tips on how to protect your personal vehicle, commercial vehicle and bicycle. Following this advice will help to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of vehicle crime.

Protecting your personal vehicle

  • Always lock your vehicle and close the windows and sunroof
  • Remove all personal possessions - not just sat navs, laptops and mobile phones - but also loose change and clothing
  • Look after your car keys and keep them out of sight and secure, even when you are at home
  • Secure number plates with tamper proof or clutch head screws.

And some extra precautions

  • If possible, park your car in a garage and lock both the car and the garage
  • When away from home, try to park in a well-lit, open location, or a police approved ParkMark car park
  • Fit an alarm if you car doesn't have one, or use a steering lock
  • Fit a tracking device to your vehicle (and ensure you know how to activate it)
  • Etch the vehicles registration number or vehicle identification number (VIN) on each window.

Motorbikes

  • Always lock your bike and set the alarm if it has one
  • When leaving your bike, lock it to something secure
  • Mark your bike with its vehicle identification number
  • Dont leave items such as helmets with your bike
  • Use a motorbike cover.

Keeping your commercial vehicle safe

  • Always lock your vehicle. Lock the back doors while driving
  • Fit an alarm. Insurance companies will often give a discount for properly installed and approved alarms
  • Never leave personal documents in the vehicle’s cab
  • Never leave tools or equipment in your vehicle overnight
  • Keep your van keys safe while you are working. Never leave them in your vehicle
  • ‘High clearance’ vehicles are common targets for catalytic converter theft
  • Mark yours to deter thieves
  • Security mark all your tools and equipment to make items uniquely identifiable
  • Fit lockable wheel nuts, tamper proof number plate screws and a lockable fuel cover cap
  • Don't buy cheap, second hand tools from a building site – they may be stolen. If you are suspicious  – tell the police
  • Keep fuel and food stops to a minimum (reduce the amount of time your vehicle is unattended)
  • Make sure you have fully comprehensive insurance for your vehicle. Thieves will often 'smash and grab' causing damage that is expensive to repair and may take you off the road for several days.
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