Helping to prevent you from becoming a victim of crime.

Car Theft Prevention

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Losing your no claims bonus, having to pay the excess after a theft, taking time off work to deal with the police and insurance companies and arranging alternative transport for you and your family are just some of the 'inconveniences' these ideas to secure my car could help avoid.

Read more: Ideas to Secure my Car

Report the incident to the Police. The Police need as much information as they can get concerning crimes so they can deploy their resources in the most efficient way.

Try to recall as much about the event as possible and any vehicles or witnesses you may have seen.

If a crime has occurred and it is reported to the Police a forensics team may want to visit you and the crime scene, your vehicle.

The forensic team may take photos, dust for fingerprints and collect samples.

You may be asked to provide your own fingerprints or DNA to help identify the offender's fingerprints.

The Police may also attend and ask you and any witness's questions to help identify the offenders.

The Police may give you an incident or crime number. They should also keep you informed about how the investigation is progressing.

Being a victim of crime can be very upsetting and can leave the you feeling anxious about security and confused about what will happen.

The Police should provide support, however the national charity Victim Support provides free and confidential support to victims and witnesses of crime and their families.

All volunteers are fully trained counsellors. The organisation has helped more than 1.5 million people over 35 years.

Victim Support can be contacted at www.victimsupport.org.uk or on 0845 30 30 900.

The criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) compensates victims of crime who have suffered a personal injury or trauma. This compensation is not available to replace stolen or damaged possessions that are not covered by insurance.  CICA can be found by clicking here.

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Crime Victims - Useful Contacts and Links

Victim Support can be contacted at www.victimsupport.org.uk or on 0845 30 30 900.

The criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) can be contacted at http://www.justice.gov.uk/contacts

Your local Police can be contacted on 101 or in an emergency using 999

Local Neighbourhood Watch schemes can be found at http://www.ourwatch.org.uk/your_local_area/

Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111 or at http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/

Crime reduction officers.  Contact your local Police station and ask to speak to your local Crime Prevention Officer – they should be able to offer some advice.

Your local Community Safety Partnership (CSP).  The CSP are jointly responsible with the Police in your area.  There are currently 310 Community Safety Partnerships in England and 22 in Wales. They can be contacted on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Consider purchasing car specific crime prevention products such as low cost Sat Nav protection, or garage defenders or SmartWater.

Here we look at the best Vehicle Tracker and forensic marking products plus a few others.

TRACKER LogoThis article features a number of crime prevention products and we will say straight away that in terms of vehicle tracking systems we think Tracker are the best.

There are a number of vehicle tracking devices on the market and three seperate systems from Tracker alone - so it can be quite confusing as to what the different products offer.

We highlight Tracker vehicle tracking for a number of reasons including:  

  • TRACKER is the only stolen vehicle recovery system operated by all Police forces across the UK
  • TRACKER is the UK's market leader, with over ONE MILLION customers.
  • Over 20,000 people have had their vehicle returned to them because of TRACKER, in partnership with the Police.
  • TRACKER recover on average £2 million worth of stolen vehicles every month
  • Tracker use a range of technologies and not just GPS

This last point, about Tracker car tracking systems not being a GPS only system is important.  Tracker tracking systems use VHF (very high frequency) radio technology, this is important as stolen vehicles can be tracked using Tracker vehicle tracking products even if they are being transported in a lorry or hidden in a lock-up garage.  We wont go to much into the technical aspects but GPS only systems can be jammed.

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The Garage Defender

We advise throughout this website to think about layers of security, the more aware of crime you are and the more precautions you take the better.

The Garage Defender  is a British made way of securing your garage door and another layer of security for a criminal to go through before they can steal your car.

The garage defender is a way of securing your garage door. The defender unit locks onto a solid steel base using a padlock to block the tilt action of the door - no padlock is supplied with this version.

Sold Secure Bronze.  The Garage Defender  has been awarded Sold Secure Bronze status, meaning that it has been tested by independent third parties.  Sold Secure approved products have been tested against a recognised standard.  Sold Secure standards are designed to reflect what is happening 'out there in the field; mimicking what thieves are doing.'

Sold Secure test specifications have been devloped in conjunction with stakeholders such as the police, insurers and appropriate industry bodies.  They are mostly based upon attack test principles, using a certain amount of time and tools - depending on the grade, for the product to be defeated.  

Sold secure is recognised by the Police Crime Prevention Design Advisors and insurers.  

smartwater logo

 


Car alarms and immobilisers are the more obvious car crime prevention products.  .  However in addition to tracking devices and garage door defender another type of car theft crime prevention product to consider is asset marking. 

SmartWater® offers a range of forensic products on an annual subscription basis that have been specifically designed for vehicles and motorbikes.

SmartWater Vehicles Systems can be used to mark individual components of your vehicle such as alloy wheels and engine parts. Upon ordering, your unique SmartWater code will be logged against your vehicle's unique VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) along with the make and model, which will be recorded on SmartWater's secure database.

SmartWater is a very popular crime prevention product, it is a subscription based service and that is something to be aware of, however it is virtully impossible to remove and another great British crime prevention company. 

Have you thought about what would happen if your vehicle was stolen?

Most people don't think about the effects of having your vehicle stolen.  If you are lucky you may get it back, most vehicles are not returned to their owners.

Tracking systems and car crime prevention products may seem quite expensive however many people do not think about the consequences of becoming a victim of car theft. 

  • How would you get to and from work on the days after your vehicle was stolen?
  • How much time would be taken dealing with the Police and insurance companies.
  • How long would it take for your insurance company to pay out?
  • How much would it cost you to hire a courtesy car?
  • How much would the insurance company actually give you for your stolen vehicle?
  • Would your premium go up as a result?

Having your vehicle stolen is just the start of the problem.  Try and prevent becoming a victim of car crime.

If a criminal really wants to steal your car or van it is difficult to completely prevent this. What you should do is try and make this as difficult as possible for them to achieve.

If a car theft is difficult, awkward and risky the offender may choose an easier target.

The three main methods used to steal cars are using vehicle keys stolen via a burglary, forcing the ignition without a key and using keys left in the vehicle. These methods are explored in more detail below.

2-in-1 Burglary

A 2-n-1 burglary refers to a house being burgled with the aim of using car keys stolen during the burglary to steal your car.

UK Car theft statistics state this method accounts for 1 in 3 of all vehicles being stolen.

Modern cars have a range of security devices fitted that make them very difficult to steal without the use of a key. Due to this thieves will target homes with the aim of stealing vehicle keys. Try and prevent this by securing your home and by keeping vehicle keys hidden in your home. Don't leave keys hanging next to the door.

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Forcing the ignition.

This involves a criminal breaking into a vehicle then breaking the ignition / steering lock to gain access to the switch the ignition barrel turns, or pulling out the wires and connecting them themselves to start the car. This method (known as hot wiring) was once very popular, however due to immobiliser systems the success of this method is now limited.

Keys left in the vehicle - an opportunistic thief

The third most common method of stealing a car involves keys being left inside the vehicle by the vehicle owner. Opportunist thieves can then take advantage of this.

A few common times when you may be tempted to leave your keys in the vehicle include when de-icing the car during winter, while stopping at an ATM machine to 'quickly' get some cash, while getting or paying for fuel or when 'dashing' into a local shop.

Don't take the risk – always remove your keys from the vehicle. More experienced thieves may use a distraction method such as causing a slight accident, this then 'encourages' you to leave the vehicle to check the damage, before thieves enter the vehicle and steal it using the keys you have left in. Always be aware.

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1. If you have any crime prevention products use them. Don't leave your car unprotected.

2. Don't leave your car open or the keys in the vehicle no matter how short the time is you're away from your vehicle. An opportunist thief will only need a few seconds to take advantage of an unlocked car.

3. Always shut your doors, windows and sunroof. Leaving these open provides easy access for criminals and your first defence has been breached. Shut and secure these even if you are just leaving the car for a few seconds.

4. Park in a well lit area so any potential offender has the risk of being seen if they attack your car.

5. Ideally choose an area covered by CCTV, this is another deterrent that could impact on a criminals thought process and encourage them to choose a different victim.

6. Choose a busy area, people travelling past your car on a regular basis will make it more likely a criminal will be spotted.

7.  Consider using crime prevention products that may help prevent items such as Sat Navs or SmartPhones being stolen from your vehicle.

Related article:  Ideas to secure my car

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