Top tips for cutting car crime and theft

Reducing the risk to yourself and your car

According to police recorded crime figures, around 240,000 vehicles were broken into in England and Wales in 2015/16. The actual number is likely to be more than three times as many, as a lot of this sort of crime goes unreported.

  • Theft from cars is generally an opportunist crime
  • Theft of cars is more likely to be planned and organised
  • 84,000 cars were stolen in 2015/16, and the majority were never recovered.

Where possible, keep your car in a locked garage, and never, ever, leave your car unattended with the keys in it.

  • Cars still disappear from drives, filling stations and car parks while the owner’s briefly distracted.

Reducing risk

Crime prevention checklist:

  • Park somewhere safe – your garage, a well–lit, busy street or a car park displaying the 'Park Mark' sign
  • Reduce theft –consider fitting additional security or even a tracking device on high value cars or those likely to be targeted by thieves.
  • Obvious targets – remove mobile phones and sat navs.
  • Tempt no-one – loose change, music CDs and similar items may attract thieves and the cost of any damage caused to get them may be more than their value.
  • Every time you leave the car – close the windows and make sure the doors are locked, even at petrol stations.
  • Car keys are precious – remove them whenever you get out of the car and don't leave them on display at home. Thieves break into houses to steal car keys.
  • Take time – make these simple security checks whenever you leave the car.

Where and when?

  • Your car's more likely to be stolen at night – 50% of cars stolen are taken between midnight and 6am.
  • 37% of thefts are from private drives and 29% from the street outside owners' homes; 7% are from a private garage at home.
  • Cars parked at home on the drive or on the street are most at risk from being broken into; 28% of thefts from cars occur at home on the drive and 45% on the street.
  • Away from home, car parks (including car parks at work) account for around 10% of stolen cars, and on-street parking around 14%.

The Safer Parking Scheme

If you leave your car in a car park you want to be sure it'll still be there when you come back. The Safer Parking Scheme's ‘Park Mark’ sign shows that the operator has thought about and put in place a range of options to reduce crime and the risk of crime.

About a quarter of all car parks have achieved the Park Mark award.

  • If you feel safe and secure in a car park a thief probably won't.
  • If you don't feel safe the thief probably will – don't park there.

The Safer Parking Scheme is supported by the Home Office and Scottish Executive and managed by the British Parking Association (BPA).

To find Safer Parking Scheme car parks in your area, look for the Park Mark logo or check their website.

17 February 2017

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