Valuables inside your car can be stolen if it is left unlocked, unguarded and on view. Thieves break into cars when they see mobile phones, laptops, Sat Navs, cash, credit cards, cheque books and/or other items that take their fancy.
By taking the following advice you can reduce the chance of becoming a victim of car crime:
- Remove all valuables and take them with you or lock out of sight.
- Remove portable Sat Navs and holders from the windscreen and wipe the residue circle from the screen as this could indicate you have hidden the unit in the car.
- Keep your keys safe with you at all times.
- Fit security devices such as an electronic immobiliser, mechanical immobiliser, vehicle alarm, or locking wheel nuts.
- Have your vehicle registration number etched onto all glass surfaces.
- Mark valuables with your surname, door number and postcode with police approved SmartWater or Selecta DNA forensic products.
- Lock all doors - close the sunroof and all windows every time you leave your car, even if it is just for a few minutes.
- Use your garage and always lock it as well as your car. If you do not have a garage, try to park in a well-lit place or somewhere that is in good view of passers-by.
When you park your car away from home, try to avoid places that are unattended, have easy access and are out of public view.
Advice on preventing keyless vehicle thefts
Following a rise across the eastern region in thieves using more sophisticated techniques to gain access to keyless entry/start button cars, we’re issuing advice to help you keep your vehicle secure and protect you from becoming a victim of crime.
When the correct key fob is close by, the fob recognises the signal and transmits its own code, instructing the vehicle to unlock the doors and to allow the ignition to work on the car.
Thieves use wireless transmitters to capture its radio transmission. This is relayed to another device. It allows the thief to open and start your car in the same way.
To prevent this from happening, use car key signal blocker cases/sleeves, they cost less than £10, or an aluminium tin at home. Find a safe place for your keys at home and check to ensure they are out of range.
Following some of these other steps will also help to protect your vehicle:
- Use a good quality crook lock or full cover steering wheel security lock to immobilise your vehicle
- Consider fitting an ‘OBD safe’ device, a secure lockable device that fits over the vehicle’s on board diagnostic port, in the vehicle cabin. This prevents criminals using software to code an electronic key for the vehicle
- If your vehicle is fitted with on board wi-fi consider switching this facility off, if you do not need it which will reduce the chance of criminals hacking into the vehicle’ system; your banking details or personal data from linked devices
- Criminals can also employ remote/keyless entry jamming equipment; so make sure your car is locked physically by trying the door handle and viewing the indicators flash, before leaving it.
Locked out of a vehicle
It can be distressing to become locked out of your vehicle. Usually you would need to contact a motoring organisation or a locksmith to gain entry into your vehicle, but in certain situations the police will attend to assist.
If you find yourself locked out of a vehicle, you should contact one of the following:
- Motoring organisation, if you have membership
- Breakdown service, if you have membership
- Car garage.
The police will only attend if:
- There is a distressed child locked in the car
- A distressed animal is locked in a car
- The time of day or circumstances of the caller mean that it would be sensible to assist (e.g. lone female late at night or disabled driver).
Please note: In these circumstances it may be difficult for an officer to gain entry to your vehicle without causing damage to it. Any assistance offered is on the understanding that the individual officers or the constabulary will not be held liable for any damage.
If you are locked out of your vehicle and require police attendance, contact us by calling 101.