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Security | 06.02.2014 - 07:32

Don't Let Car Crime Affect You

Car crime in general has been on a downward trend over the last twenty years, which in some ways makes it even more devastating when it does happen.

Car crime in general has been on a downward trend over the last twenty years, which in some ways makes it even more devastating when it does happen.

Since 1998, all new vehicles in the UK have been fitted with electronic immobilisers, making stealing a car without a key a virtual impossibility. 

Criminals are crafty people, though, and they are becoming more creative. Although the British Car Crime survey in 2010/11 reported 94,000 thefts of a vehicle, compared to 700,000+ in the mid-1990s, they do still happen. The requirement of a key is a huge step forward in car security, but unless looked after carefully, the keys themselves can be stolen first.

Burglary victims, for example, are increasingly finding that car keys are taken from the house, and then the car is stolen from the driveway without 'breaking and entering'. Indeed, sometimes the car keys are the main target for break-ins.

Reclaim the Garage for You Car

So many UK households have 'converted' their garage, either officially into more living accommodation or as a storage room. If you value your car as an investment, have a clear-out and use the garage for what it was originally intended for – to keep your car in.

Of course, burglars can open garage doors, but it provides an extra deterrent. A safe garage can also provide protection from the weather. A quality garage door not only gives extra security for your vehicle, but there are now also huge numbers of different designs and features that can be tailored to suit your own requirements. They can also improve the look of your property.

ABi Garage Door Specialists supply garage doors in Bradford, Leeds and across Yorkshire, and they were recently ranked first out of nearly 300 garage door companies across the UK using the Free Index business listing. If you can't pop into a branch, find them online at www.abigaragedoors.co.uk.

The Crime Prevention website suggests other things to take into account to keep your possessions secure, and explains the difference between "theft of" and "theft from" your vehicle.

Other Good Car Security Habits 

Always lock the doors and windows, even if you are leaving the car in a locked garage overnight, and never leave the car running if you are not inside it. This is especially important at this time of year, when you might be tempted to have the engine running to heat the car while you scrape ice off the windscreen.

Don't leave the keys in a visible position, or within reach of a letterbox in your front door. Take your car keys with you, even if you do not take the car, and make sure they are zipped inside a pocket in your bag.

If your car is of particular value, either monetary or sentimental, you might want to consider fitting it with a tracking device. As you would with other possessions, mark parts of the car with registered codes.

These tips are not intended to frighten anyone — more to give them peace of mind that they are prepared for the worst, should it ever happen.

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