Advice issued after increase in thefts from motor vehicles
Biggest increases in Stevenage, St Albans, Three Rivers and Hertsmere
Motorists advised to keep cars secured during the warm weather
Hertfordshire Constabulary is urging drivers to make sure to keep their vehicles secure this summer, following an increase in thefts from cars and vans.
There has been an increase in thefts from vehicles since the beginning of April 2018, compared with the same period last year*, of around 10 per cent across the county. However, some areas are experiencing significantly higher increases:
- Stevenage 151 per cent (up from 66 to 166)
- St Albans 39 per cent (up from 169 to 239)
- Three Rivers 34 per cent (up 75 to 101)
- Hertsmere 23 per cent (up from 113 to 140)
Inspector Andrew Palfreyman Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction Unit said: “We tend to see more thefts from vehicles when the weather is hot, as people often leave windows open to keep their vehicles cool. If you leave valuable items in your vehicle on view, this can encourage thieves to try and break in. Make sure that any items are not on view, such as coats, bags, phones and try to remove anything of value from the vehicle when left overnight.
“Vans are also being targeted for tools and equipment stored in them. Criminals can use a variety of methods to bypass vehicle security systems, so I urge the removal or securing of tools. We are running crime prevention events across the county helping people to secure their vehicles and security marking valuables. Details of these events can be found at www.herts.police.uk.”
To help prevent theft from your vehicle:
- Never leave valuables on display
- Never leave tools in your van unless they are secured in an approved* tool safe
- Fit good quality approved* additional external locks to van doors
- Engrave or mark tools and their boxes with your postcode and house number
- Use an approved steering lock or gear clamp, and remember to set your immobiliser and alarm if you have one.
- If away from home consider parking your vehicle in a ‘Park Mark’ approved car park. www.parkmark.co.uk.
To help prevent your vehicle being stolen:
- Never hand vehicle keys over to a third party or leave the vehicle unattended at a valet parking, car wash or other parking places, where criminals can gain access to the vehicle and code a key electronically.
- Consider fitting an ‘OBD safe’, a secure lockable device that fits over the vehicle’s on board diagnostic (OBD) port, in the vehicle cabin. This prevents criminals using software to code a key from the vehicle.
- Consider fitting a dual band tracking device that works on VHF/UHF and GPS, to make it more difficult for the tracking signal being blocked.
- Criminals can also employ remote/keyless entry jamming equipment so make sure your car is locked by trying the door before leaving it.
- Ensure that ‘home’ on your vehicle ‘Sat Nav’ is shown as the post code of your local police station and not your actual home address.
- Use an approved* steering wheel lock and never leave your vehicle unlocked – even for a moment
More advice on how to make your vehicle safe is available at: www.herts.police.uk/protectyourproperty.