Protect your car from theft
Thu 23 Sep 2021
Car theft is unfortunately as rampant as ever with almost 20,000 more vehicles stolen in 2020 than 2019.[i] As members of the Police family this stat might not come as a surprise and neither can the following advice in this article. But there’s no harm in refreshing your knowledge or sharing this with family or friends who could benefit.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Crime in England and Wales for the year ending September 2020 report[ii], there has been an increase in the number of vehicle-related theft offences. Although the report does not highlight any sole reason, many media reports believe that after many years of improved security measures on cars, a contributing factor may be an increase in the number of cars which have keyless entry.
If you have a car with keyless entry, you might find the following security tips provided by Thatcham Research, the motor insurers’ automotive research centre, useful:
- Contact your dealer and talk about the digital features in your car. Have there been any software updates you can take advantage of?
- Check if your keyless entry fob can be turned off. If it can, and your dealer can also confirm this, then do so overnight.
- Store your keys away from household entry points. Keeping your keyless entry fob out of sight is not enough – thieves only need to gain proximity to the key to amplify its signal.
- Be vigilant and keep an eye out for suspicious activity in your neighbourhood.
Even if you don’t have a vehicle with keyless entry you can take the following simple steps to help deter opportunist car thieves:
- Make sure your car is secure before you leave it, even if you just need to leave it for a few minutes. Always shut the doors and windows and lock your car.
- Never leave your car running unattended and always remove the keys from the ignition.
- Never leave any personal items on display. It takes thieves seconds to smash a car window and steal your property.
- Use secure car parks ideally with monitored barriers or park in busy well-lit areas.
- Use a visual and physical deterrent such as a steering wheel or gear shift lock.
- Think about installing an audio alarm or get an electronic engine immobiliser fitted, if it doesn’t come as standard.
- A tracking system can be an excellent investment and if fitted along with the other devices might result in a lower insurance premium.
You might also want to consider upgrading the security for your drive or parking space. There are many small home CCTV systems which needn’t cost the earth, and it could help catch someone who does try to steal your car. A motion sensor activated security light may also put thieves off.
The more layers of protection you can add the less appealing your car will be to criminals.
And last, but by no means least, make sure that your car keys are not left in an obvious place such as a key hook by the front door or in sight when you are out and about, as this is an easy place for would-be thieves to look.
Police Mutual provides car insurance for serving or retired Police Officers and Staff, Specials and their families. For more information about our Car Insurance and how you could benefit, click here or call 0151 242 7640.
Police Mutual Car Insurance is provided by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd.
PMGI Limited, trading as Police Mutual is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Financial Services Register No. 114942. Registered in England & Wales No. 1073408. Registered office: 55 Gracechurch Street, London, EC3V 0RL.
Type of article: Articles
Category: Protecting my belongings
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