Protect your vehicle
Your car - a safe place – with your own home comforts and mod cons - but opportunistic criminals often see them as easy pickings
You can take some measures to makes your car less likely to be targeted by thieves
-Don’t make it easy for thieves. Make sure you lock your car doors and windows every time you leave it.
-Never leave the keys in the ignition: eg when paying for petrol or warming your car on an icy day.
-Secure your car registration documents at home, never leave them in your car.
-Think about where you’re parking. Use a well-lit, secure car park.
-Don’t leave anything on show – CDs, cheque books, even an old coat on show inside as they may be tempting for thieves.
-With satnavs in particular, make sure you remove the device from view including its cradle.
-Consider investing and using an alarm as a deterrent.
Parking your car - at home & away
-Making sensible parking choices is a great way to improve the security of your vehicle:
-The most secure location is in your locked and alarmed garage, while the next best thing is to park as close to your home as possible – whether that be on a drive or on the street directly outside your property.
-A well-lit drive where another vehicle is present also makes a great deterrent to put off any would-be thieves.
-Hide car keys in the house when you go to bed - never hang them near the door or leave them on a hall table
-Avoid locations where your vehicle will be hidden from general view, like behind hedges or walls.
-Busy, overlooked or CCTV-monitored parking areas are far safer than deserted side streets or back alleys.
-When leaving your vehicle parked, consider that although it might be light now think about night time lighting and how remote the location may become.
-Some of the safest public car parks are those displaying the Park Mark Safer Parking Tick. To find an approved car park in your area, visit www.parkmark.co.uk.
The potential for small vans to contain tools and petty cash can sometimes make them very appealing to criminals. There are many ways you can protect your vehicle and make it less desirable to thieves.
-Keep doors locked, windows closed and alarms active at all times.
-Never leave valuables or tools on display, and don’t carry satnavs, trade spares or other unnecessary items if they are not being used.
-Tools and stock items should always be removed from the van overnight – displaying signage to say 'No Tools Left in Vehicle'
-Satnavs should be removed along with their cradle
-Leave roof bars and external load boxes or tubes empty and unlocked to prevent forced entry.
-If possible, park your van so the rear and side doors are tight to walls, garage doors or other vehicles to hinder direct access and any physical attacks.
In winter give your car a winter check.
Check your battery, top up anti-freeze and windscreen washer, make sure all bulbs are working and lenses are clear, check for chips in windscreens, check all wipers are in good working order, make sure tyres are of the correct tread depth and pressure is correct.
NEVER EVER LEAVE YOUR CAR RUNNING WITH THE KEYS IN THE IGNITION WHILST DEFROSTING IF YOU ARE NOT SITTING INSIDE IT.
Mobility Scooter crime prevention advice
- Store your mobility scooter securely when not in use
Parking your scooter in your house or Investing in a small shed specifically for your scooter is worth the time and money to protect it. Alternatively, if you live in a flat with a communal area, ask your neighbours if it is practical to leave your scooter somewhere safer overnight rather than outside.
- Remove the key when leaving the scooter unattended
This may sound like basic advice but many people forget to remove the key from their scooter before going inside a shop, for instance. This gives a thief ample opportunity to take the scooter.
- Use a wheel clamp
A wheel clamp is a strong lock that is independently tested to withstand most tools that thieves use to steal small vehicles such as bicycles. The clamp locks around one wheel and makes it impossible to drive off with the clamp securely in place. A wheel clamp is affordable and simple to use. They are especially useful if you leave your mobility scooter unattended in a public space for long periods of time. A wheel clamp is not always practical if you find it difficult to reach the ground to fit the clamp. If this is the case, our next tip can help.
- Fit a scooter tracker
A small device can be fitted to your mobility scooter that uses mobile phone technology to broadcast the scooter’s location in the event that it is moved without consent. You will need some mobile phone know-how, or someone you trust who can help, but this small piece of technology has helped to retrieve many stolen mobility scooters. It is best to talk to your trusted mobility specialist to learn about mobility scooter trackers.
- Fit a scooter alarm
Similar to a scooter tracker, a scooter alarm can easily be fitted to a scooter. Once activated (at the press of a button) the scooter will sound the alarm if it is sat on or moved. This will attract attention to a thief and stop them in their attempt to steal the scooter.
- Alternate your parking habits
If you travel to the same destination on your scooter everyday, consider changing your parking spot every now and then. As good as a regular routine can be, thieves are quick to notice patterns in behaviour and even quicker to spot an easy target for theft. Ideally, you should keep the scooter in sight but if you cannot, then change your parking spot whenever possible.