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Prevention advice to the public on cars


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Car Keys

Don't just rely on the key fob. Always double check the car is locked by trying the handle. Some thieves use 'jammers' to block the signal between the fob and the car which leaves the vehicle unlocked. Signal jammers can be left in bushes or in the pocket of an offender.

Take care of keys. Never leave car keys unattended whilst in public and never leave them in the car. When at home make sure keys are both out of sight and out of reach from doors or windows.

Folding wing mirrors. If your vehicle has wing mirrors that fold in automatically when locked, make sure you lock it properly. Criminal gangs look for vehicles like these where the wing mirrors are still out because it indicates that the vehicle could be unlocked.

Further advice on keyless cars and car key burglary can be found using the links on the right.




Parking securely at home:

Use your garage if you have one, a Master Locksmith Association approved company will be able to provide advice on keeping your garage secure with additional locks if necessary. Be aware that older garage doors can easily be broken into by thieves. Consider fitting a garage alarm.

If parking on your driveway, try to park defensively; as close as possible to your property as you can so that access is made difficult. Consider fitting outdoor motion detector lighting and CCTV from Inspectorate Approved Installers who are members of a recognised inspecting body (e.g. National Security Inspectorate, Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board and accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service.

If your drive has gates, ensure you close them at night or when you are not using your car. If you do not have gates a car bollard can provide an extra visible deterrent.

If you have to park on the road, make sure to park in a well-lit area. Park with your wheels turned towards the curb and the car in gear, this makes it harder for thieves to tow your vehicle.

Parking securely in public:

Choose the right place to park, this should be somewhere that is well-lit, busy and open to public view. Avoid parking in dark and secluded areas.

If you choose to use a car park, find one that is security patrolled, covered by CCTV and good lighting or is approved for safer parking by the Park Mark, to find one check https://www.parkmark.co.uk/car-park-finder

When using a shop or busy town car park, select a space near other shoppers, rather than away from other cars.


Other Security Measures

Use a tested and approved Steering Wheel /Pedal / Gear Lock as a deterrent. They are inexpensive, easy to install and off-putting to criminals. Sold Secure approved products are tested against tools used by criminals such as Crowbars and Angle Grinders. These might be old-school deterrents, but they’re making a comeback in the digital age, most times, opportunist thieves who rely on a quick getaway will simply walk by a car that has a lock on the steering wheel.

Tracking devices can help track down your vehicle and the perpetrator should it be taken.

Invest in the right technology. Most modern cars are fitted with alarms and immobilisers as standard, check with your manufacturer to make sure your car is as secure as it can be. Adding a Thatcham approved car alarm can reduce your insurance premiums as well as the risk of car thefts. Also consider having a dash-cam fitted, that records when the car is switched off, if the car gets bumped, the dash-cam will record everything and it can also act as a visual deterrent.

Secure your number plates. Fit theft-resistant number plate fittings. Stolen number plates are commonly used to hide the identity of stolen cars. Use one-way clutch head screws to secure number plates.

Keep documents at home. Don't leave your logbook or service records in your car. It might seem like a sensible place for them, but if you're a victim of car theft, the documents will make it easier for the car to be sold and you could also become a victim of identity fraud. Similarly, don't leave letters, bank statements, household bills or forms of identification in the car, as this can also put you at risk of identity fraud.

Have your windows etched. Having the last seven digits of your Vehicle Identity Number (VIN) or registration etched onto the windows, headlights, and mirrors means anybody who tries to alter your vehicle's identity will have a tough job. Other security window etching is available where a unique code is etched and registered on an International Security Register, speak to your car manufacturer for further details.

Be aware of car modifications, such as chrome/alloy wheels. They'll make your car stand out and potentially more attractive to thieves and vandals. Protect alloys with locking wheel nuts. These are cheap to buy, easy to fit and can be very difficult to remove without the right key. It's possible to purchase a locking wheel nut remover on the internet, but a lock will deter opportunist thieves.

Don't leave your car running. It might be tempting to leave the car running whilst deicing or warming up the inside on a frosty morning, but an opportunistic thief could steal the vehicle in a couple of seconds. You can also be fined for leaving the car running whilst unattended.


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Message Sent By
Jackie May
(Hampshire Constabulary, PCSO, Isle of wight)

Neighbourhood Alert Cyber Essentials