Herts Police have warned of a rise in vehicle crime so far this year.
Inspector Paul Lawrence, of the crime reduction team, said: “Vehicle-related crime has increased slightly from last year, with tools being stolen from vans and thefts of vehicles being the main concern.
“Many drivers across the county have taken note of the advice we have been promoting and have made their vehicles secure. Many van drivers have been removing or securing their tools which led to a reduction during 2016, however we are now starting to see another small increase in these types of crime.
“Criminals are mainly targeting tools which have been left unsecured in unattended vans, or stealing the vans themselves. They use different methods to exploit vehicles with keyless entry systems and certain door locking mechanisms. The advice we are issuing will help to prevent criminals being able to gain access to or steal vehicles.”
To help drivers secure their vehicles Herts Police have teamed up with www.ProtectAVan.co.uk who are offering a 10 per cent discount to drivers that live or work in Hertfordshire, on Thatcham-approved security devices, such as tool safes, steering locks and security marking of tools and vehicles.
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. Herts Police recommend products that are “Sold Secure”.
More advice on how to make your vehicle safe is available at: www.herts.police.uk/crimeprevention