Van drivers are being urged to ensure their vehicles are properly secure and where possible remove any valuables overnight following an increase in tool thefts.

Inspector Rachael Robertson from the Hertsmere Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “Although we have only seen a slight increase in thefts from vans in Hertsmere, we want to make sure we act fast and make it as difficult as possible for these thieves to operate.

“We have recorded incidents overnight in hotel car parks in Borehamwood and Potters Bar but these offenders are happy to travel to commit their crimes so I’m asking all van owners to review their security and consider whether they are doing all they can to keep their vehicle and valuables safe.

“Meanwhile, we have been speaking to hotel staff and tradespeople to make them aware that thieves are operating in hotel car parks. We’ve also asked hotels to display posters to make van drivers aware of the issue and the simple steps they can take to reduce their chances of becoming a victim.”

Please follow this crime prevention advice when leaving your van unattended:

Double check that you have locked your van and all of the windows are closed properly.
If possible, park in well-lit areas and near cameras.
Try to park close to a hedge or wall in order to restrict access to your van.
Consider having additional locks fitted as well as an alarm.
If staying at a hotel, can you take your most valuable tools into your room overnight?
Consider investing in a lockable cabinet within your van to store your tools.
Ensure your tools are marked clearly with your name/company name and postcode using paint pens and seal with a clear lacquer spray or use property marking systems. This makes your tools more difficult to sell on and therefore less desirable to thieves.
Take pictures of valuable items, record serial numbers and consider registering them online at a property register site.
For more information about security and property marking visit Secured by Design [opens in a new window].
If you see anyone acting suspiciously around parked vans please contact police straight away by dialling 999.

To receive police messages about a range of topics including burglaries, scams and missing people in your local area, sign up to [opens in a new window] or download the ‘OWL crime alerts’ app from your app store.

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