Vehicle crime 580 450Having your vehicle stolen or broken into can be very distressing. Layer security with SBD approved products. Below we have listed a few simple steps you can take to keep your vehicle, and what's in it, safe.

Cars & vans

  • Leaving items on show is an invitation – power leads, SatNavs and mounts, stereo front panels, coins, sunglasses, tools, clothing and bags should be removed from the vehicle or placed out of sight
  • Keys and ignition fobs should be kept safe and out of sight and reach – a common way to steal a car or van is to take the keys or ignition fob, either when left in the vehicle or from your home through burglary
  • Always lock and close the windows of your vehicle when unattended – on the drive, the petrol station forecourt or when parking an unlocked vehicle is the easiest to steal or steal from. When away from home, consider using a Park Mark approved car park
  • Fit theft resistant number plate fittings – stolen number plates are commonly used to hide the identity of stolen vehicles. Use one-way clutch head screws to secure plates
  • Consider using a steering wheel lock – or a lock that fits over the gear lever. Alternatively a security box can be fitted over the pedals to prevent thefts when the vehicle is parked up

Relay Theft

Vehicles fitted with a smart or passive key are susceptible to relay theft. This key system allows you to gain entry and start your vehicle without the need to interact with your vehicle’s key.

Criminals use specialist equipment that has the ability to grab the signal from the car to the smart key so that it appears to the car that the key is present. Your vehicle is most vulnerable overnight, particularly if parked on your driveway or directly outside your home.

How to prevent this:

  • When not in use – either at home or when out and about - store your key in a security pouch. Security pouches are sometimes termed Faraday bags or signal blockers/shields and there are many security rated versions on the market. These pouches will prevent the signal from your vehicle being captured using electronic devices
  • Remember to secure both keys in a security pouch

 

Key Programming

Key programming is being used by criminals to assign a new key to vehicles, by plugging a device into the on board diagnostic port (OBD) of the vehicle. The OBD port will in most cases be located in the driver’s footwell. Criminals will gain entry into your vehicle then plug into this port and programme a blank key to the vehicle.

  • Always make sure that your vehicle is locked and secure when leaving it unattended
  • Consider having an OBD lock guard professionally fitted
  • Electronic OBD security is available – seek the main dealer’s advice

 

Motorcycles

  • Keep your motorcycle in a garage, shed, designated bike store or use a motorcycle cover – storing it out of view is one of the best ways to prevent opportunist theft. Consider fitting a garage or shed alarm
  • Fit an alarm, immobiliser, preferably with tracking capability and property mark panels – alarms act as a deterrent and trackers and property marking assists in recovery should your motorcycle be stolen. Tracking systems should be discreetly located to prevent thieves from identifying and removing them
  • Lock the rear wheel to an immovable object or ground anchor and use a disk lock on the front wheel – making your motorcycle less of any easy option will reduce the chances of it being targeted. Combine the use of a disk lock and a chain lock attached to a ground anchor
  • When possible, keep the lock off the ground – whenever you lock and chain the rear wheel, wrap any excess chain around the rear wheel and try to enclose the lock. Keeping the lock off the ground can prevent it being attacked and smashed
  • Use a bike cover – covers are another hassle for an opportunist thief, if they cannot see what it is they are less likely to target it

 

Mopeds

  • Chain your moped rear wheel to an immovable object or ground anchor, don’t rely on the steering lock – standard steering locks are easily defeated and your moped can always be lifted into a van if not secured. Use a disk lock on the front wheel
  • Fit theft resistant number plate fittings – stolen number plates are commonly used to hide the identity of stolen vehicles. Use one-way clutch head screws to secure plates
  • Use a moped cover – covers are another hassle for an opportunist thief, if they cannot see what moped it is they are less likely to target it.
  • When possible, keep the lock off the ground – whenever you lock and chain the rear wheel, wrap any excess chain around the rear wheel and try to enclose the lock. Keeping the lock off the ground can prevent it being attacked and smashed

 

Plant machinery

  • Remove keys, fit locking mechanisms or anchor to immovable objects – even when unattended for a short time keys should be removed. When left overnight machinery should be secured in a compound if possible and anti theft devices fitted, chained to immovable objects or together
  • Fit immobilisation and tracking systems – the use of tracking systems can notify the owner the machinery is being interfered with or moved, allowing for a prompt response to either prevent the theft or detain offenders. Anti theft devices make your plant less attractive to the thief
  • Maintain accurate records of equipment owned or hired, including serial numbers and registration numbers – accurate and detailed records allows for the identification of stolen plant machinery. Without this your mini digger could be any mini digger

 

The Plant & Agricultural National Intelligence Unit (PANIU)

  • The Plant & Agricultural National Intelligence Unit (PANIU) is a specialist police unit hosted within the Metropolitan Police Service and is funded by donations from insurers and organisations in the construction and agricultural sectors.
  • The unit was formed in 2008 to assist police throughout the UK with information and intelligence relating to theft of plant machinery.
  • PANIU maintains a comprehensive database of stolen machinery, which receives data not only from the Police National Computer (PNC) but also from the majority of the major insurers in the current market.
  • PANIU also provides advice on specialist areas such as the identification of plant and agricultural machinery.
  • PANIU works with partners including the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), The National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS), government agencies and departments such as Europol and Interpol along with our PANIU Partners which include insurance firms, hirers, tracking companies and construction and agricultural associations.

The office is staffed during normal office hours and the team can be contacted on: 

0207 230 7290 or 

PANIU Crime Prevention Leaflet

PANIU Annual Report 2018

 

Caravans and trailers

  • Fit physical security and a caravan cover - fit a combination of hitch lock anti-theft device, wheel clamp and ground anchor, a physical barrier to theft is always a clear deterrent. Using a caravan cover and installing an alarm makes any theft more difficult and your caravan less attractive
  • Register, record and property mark all parts of the caravan or trailer – register your caravan or trailer with the Central Registration & Identification Scheme (CRIS) and use overt and covert chips to mark it. If stolen, it may have its number plates, chassis, frame or CRIS numbers removed. Take photos, including specific fittings, marks or damage as these can help to identify your caravan or trailer
  • Install an alarm and tracking system, including roof marking – if stolen, being able to track and identify your caravan or trailer is vital. Add clear roof markings, giving the year of manufacture and CRIS number, to assist police identifying your caravan. (2014 – CRIS SGBS000BYA1234567)

 

Goods vehicles and Lorries

  • Lock it, remove it, alarm it – when leaving your vehicle unattended, first remove valuable items and cash from view, lock it and take the keys with you or leave in a secure drawer or office at work. Overnight, remove tools from vans or if parking up with an empty trailer, leave the doors open. Always set the vehicle alarm and keep fuel tanks locked
  • Plan journeys, have an itinerary, no hitch hikers – have a route planned, including lay-overs, so someone else knows where you are due to be. Where possible use safe lorry parks or park where visible to passing traffic. Avoid insecure locations like remote laybys and quiet industrial estates. Do not pick up strangers as you have no idea what their intentions are
  • Lock your vehicle and check it – even when on the move, making deliveries or refuelling, keep you vehicle locked and the keys with you. Before you start off again, visually inspect your vehicle, has anything changed, if so why
  • Consider using a steering wheel lock – or a lock that fits over the gear lever. Alternatively a security box can be fitted over the pedals to prevent thefts when the vehicle is parked up

 

Test Drive theft

Test drive thefts are where a thief answers an advert for a vehicle sale pretending to be a genuine buyer. When they meet the vendor they ask for a test drive and never return with the vehicle.

  • Take steps to avoid this by going with the prospective buyer on any test drive and don’t leave anyone alone with the vehicle and its keys
  • Keep control of the vehicles key. Criminals will attempt to swap the original key with a counterfeit key
  • Ask any potential buyer for contact details and to see their driving licence and insurance. Never leave the vehicle keys in the ignition – keep hold of them

 

Further Information

https://www.thatcham.org/ Insurance certified security products
https://www.soldsecure.com/ Security products testing standard
https://www.cris.co.uk/ Central Registration & Identification Scheme for Caravans

Check your insurance policy for any further requirements