Avoiding Car Crime – Security Tips for Motorists
A lot of car crime results from criminals seeing opportunities and taking them. However it is not particularly difficult to outsmart the car thief, and avoid car crime!

Most vehicle crime is preventable. It can take as little as 10 seconds for a thief to steal something from your car. If at all possible, leave nothing on view. Car crime makes up nearly 20% of all recorded crimes in England and Wales. Car crime can be distressing and annoying as it can cause a lot of inconvenience – you could be without your vehicle for weeks, waiting for the garage to make repairs or for your car insurers to pay.

You will also potentially lose your No Claims Bonus and increase the premiums on your car insurance. Thus you need to make sure that the security features on your vehicle are considered as important as any other feature. Keep your Valuables and Possessions Safe, don’t leave anything on display in your car, and remember to take all your belongings with you when you leave your car, including:

• Mobile Phone
• Laptop Computer
• Credit and Debit Cards
• Cheque Books
• Cash
• Vehicle Registration Documents
• Private Mail, especially with your private address on it

Keep your Car Keys Safe
When you leave your car, always remove the ignition key and lock all doors. It only takes a few seconds for a thief to jump into your car and drive away. Follow this routine all the time, even when filling up with petrol or just popping into the shop.

Window Etching
Arrange to have all your car’s registration number etched onto all glass surfaces – including the headlamps. Or possibly have the last 7 digits of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), or some other unique identifying number linked to a recognised database. Ideally use a marking system associated with a database which keeps to the Loss Prevention Council (LCP) standards.

If you have a garage, use it. Always lock your car and garage. If you don’t have garage, always try to park your vehicle in a well-lit, open place. Thieves always like to steal from cars parked in places where they run the least risk of being seen or disturbed. When you park your car away from home always try to avoid places that:

• Are unattended
• Have easy access
• Are concealed from public view
• Have numerous escape routes