Drivers are being advised to make sure their cars and vans are secure following an increase in vehicle thefts around the county.

Thefts of vehicles have increased by more than 17 per cent this year, compared to same period last year, with Dacorum (+30 offences), Three Rivers (+22) and East Herts (+16) being the areas with the highest increases. Thefts of keyless vehicles have also been an issue in recent months.

Crime Prevention Officer Darren Cowell, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Prevention First Academy, said: “There’s been an increase in vehicle thefts this year, with keyless entry systems also being exploited by criminals, who can use signal jacking devices which pick up the fob signal and unlock and start a vehicle. Using a signal blocking fob pouch or storing your fob in a metal box will help prevent the signal being detected. Using a good quality steering wheel lock can deter thieves and prevent a vehicle being stolen.”

To minimise the chance of becoming a victim we offer the following advice:

Lock your car whenever it is left unattended and keep it in a garage when parked at night if possible.
Consider fitting CCTV on your home or driveway, to help deter thieves.
Use PIR or LED security lighting to make your vehicle more visible and this can also act as a deterrent.
Look for car parks with a ‘Secured Car Park’ sign which have recognised levels of security.
Noisy gravel on your drive can help deter a would-be thief, as they don’t want to alert you to their approach.
How to protect your keyless entry car:

When at home keep your car key (and the spare) well away from the car.
Put the keys in a screened or signal-blocking pouch, such as a Faraday bag.
Reprogramme your keys if you buy a second-hand car.
Turn off wireless signals on your fob when it’s not being used.
Use a steering wheel lock as an extra security measure.
For more advice visit:
For more vehicle security advice, please visit our crime prevention pages.

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