London has the highest proportion of Car theft in the UK in comparison to population; in fact 42% of all car thefts in 2014 were committed in the Greater London area. According to the Evening Standard, the number of stolen cars rose 8% to 21,869, which is mainly attributed to the increase in keyless thefts. It is believed organised gangs using complex techniques are reasonable for the vast amount of crimes, with some cars fetching between £1,000 and £10,000 on the black market. We have written this article to help you help yourself to not become a victim of car crime.
- Lock your car, this is the easiest way to keep your car safe, almost 50% of all cars stolen were unlocked.
- Park your car in a well-lit area. If your car is in a dark place thieves feel more comfortable as they are less likely to be spotted, however if your car is in a well-lit area criminals are much more likely to be spotted and reported to the police, so light can act as a deterrent.
- Nearly 13% of all vehicles are stolen with the keys still in the ignition, don’t let this be you.
- Never leave your car running unattended. This is a big NO NO not even for a minute or two. Many vehicles are stolen on cold winter mornings when the owner has left the keys in the ignition and the car left unattended to warm up.
- Ensure your windows are completely closed when parked. Thieves have come up with cleaver techniques to unlock the door using just a small gap.
- You should never leave any valuables of any kind in plain view. The less enticing cars are to enter the less enticing they are to steal.
- Park your car with the wheels turned towards the pavement. Some car thieves use tow trucks to steal vehicles. So by turning your wheels towards the pavement it makes the thief’s job harder. And when your car is parked your drive way or in a car park, by turning your wheels to the side your car can only be towed from the front.
- Don’t do what they do in the movies. Ok so you know when you watch American films and they always seem to have a spare set of keys laying around somewhere in the car. Well this is an awful idea, if you think you have thought of a good hiding place the thieves have probably thought of it too.
- If you have a garage make sure you use it. Parking your car in the garage protects it from thieves as well as the natural elements. Additionally ensure the garage door is locked as well as the car doors.
- Never leave your car documents in your car. A car thief will use all the paper work to sell your car and it also makes the car look legit and thus not stolen. Ensure you keep all the important documents of your car filed away in the house.
- If your car is front wheel drive make sure to park your car front end first and if it is rear wheeled, revers into your drive way, this makes your car harder to tow.
For more information in regards to car crime please visit the Metropolitan Police website.