Apart from your home, your car is probably your most valuable possession.
But it's also the one most at risk.
Over a quarter of all recorded crimes involve the theft of or from motor vehicle. The majority of these offences can be stopped if the opportunity to steal is removed. Even after years of advising the motorist not to leave their possessions on open display in an unattended vehicle, property is stolen from inside a car every 13 seconds in England and Wales. Help the police to reduce car crime by taking a few basic precautions before leaving your vehicle.
When you leave your car unattended
Lock the Doors & Close all windows, including the sunroof, particularly when at a petrol station, on your drive or when popping into a shop. Thieves will be watching and waiting to take advantage of the slightest opportunity, always, always switch off the ignition and remove your ignition key
When you can park in busy well-lit open areas. The area may look entirely different on your return after dark
Most modern vehicles, if properly secured, are not easily stolen and require the correct key. Some thieves are now resorting to breaking into offices and houses to steal car keys. Ensure that your keys are safely out of sight and not left by the front door or on a hook in the kitchen
Leave cash, credit cards, chequebooks, mobile phones or vehicle documents in your car
The theft of laptop computers from motor vehicles is big business and amounts to nearly 20% of all 'theft from motor vehicle' offences. If you must leave valuables in your car place them in the boot before you begin your journey or a short distance from your destination, this includes motorway service stations
Leave Valuables On Show and You'll Loose Them
And a few additional precautions
If you have a garage, use it
Consider the installation of a tracking device
On older cars have your vehicle identification number (v.i.n) etched on all glass surfaces, windows, headlamps, sunroof and in car radio and cassette player
Fit lockable wheel nuts and fuel cap
The Secured Car Park Award Scheme
If you have the choice of hotel or other establishments with a car park look for the 'Secure Car Park' award plaque. This scheme was launched by the Association of Chief Police Officers with the objective to certify car parks which have introduced effective measures to create a safe and secure environment to park your car.
The car parks have enhanced lighting, help points, better perimeter security and many will have CCTV, security staff along with other features, which restrict the opportunities for crime to be committed.