Data indicates that motor vehicle crimes are emerging as one of the fastest-growing crimes and the least solved ones. According to Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) data, the number of vehicles stolen in the UK rose three per cent in 2021.
The latest annual car theft figures, obtained by leasing comparison site LeaseLoco via a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA, show that between January 1 and December 31, 2021, some 48,493 vehicles were reported to police as stolen. This is a three per cent increase over 2020 – when 1,617 fewer cars were taken – and means that on average, 133 vehicles are stolen every day in Britain, or 933 per week.
Auto theft has been increasing not just because higher prices and keyless start technology are making vehicles more alluring to thieves but also due to inadequate parking spaces, lack of proper surveillance, little knowledge about anti-theft devices, and so on.
How do you protect yourself from becoming a victim of car theft? Here are six things you can do:
1. Pick a safe parking spot
Vehicles can be stolen easily when they are parked in unsecured locations. If you have no access to a secure private garage, parking your vehicle in a well-lit area near other cars is the best way to discourage theft.
2. Lock your doors and take your key
It may seem evident, but it is always wise to double-check that your car’s doors are locked and windows are shut, including the sunroof or, on pickups, the rear cab window. Ensure the key is in your pocket or bag when you leave the vehicle. With today’s push-button start systems, it is often easy to forget you tossed the key in the centre console or that it has fallen out of your bag or pocket and onto the seat.
3. Don’t leave valuables in your car
Cars are usually stolen because thieves want to sell the valuables kept in your car. So, avoid leaving jewellery, cash or laptops inside your car, even if you have to just get down to grab something along the way. If it is absolutely necessary to keep the valuables in the car, make sure you hide them properly.
4. Carry documents with you
Another thing to avoid leaving in the car is important documents such as your driving license, car registration, insurance documents etc. It makes it even tougher for the police to catch the culprits as they can impersonate you using these documents. Always keep the originals with you.
5. Guard your key fob
Key fobs are a convenient piece of technology, but left in the wrong hands they can let a thief know your vehicle’s position, even from across a crowded parking lot. Whether it’s at the gym, coffee shop or work, never leave your keys unattended.
6. Install a tracking system
One of the best things you can do to guarantee peace of mind is to install a tracking system. As with other alarms, it’s best to have a professional such as FLR Spectron install the device. Our highly trained staff and live alert systems work with policing authorities to locate stolen vehicles, reporting a 94% recovery rate and providing an after-theft recovery service.
The units don’t just use GPS, they use Tracker VHF tracking, which unlike GPS continues to provide a signal from secluded places like underground car parks or shipping containers. The VHF signal is also difficult for criminals to jam or damage.
If you’d like to know more about how our Telematic Vehicle Tracking solutions can secure your fleet, commercial or private vehicles, visit https://flrs.co.uk/fire-security/vehicle-tracking/.