Vehicle crime

Vehicle crime makes up more than a quarter of all recorded crime in the UK.

Vehicle criminals are opportunists, and most vehicle-related crimes can be prevented by taking simple security measures.

Car security

Always lock your car, wind up the windows and close the sunroof, even if you’re only leaving it for a few minutes. You should also double check it’s locked before leaving. It only takes a few seconds for your valuables to be stolen from an unlocked car. 

For extra security: 

  • fit a car alarm
  • use a steering wheel lock
  • get an immobiliser, this stops the engine from starting if the car is being stolen
  • always park your car in well-lit areas in full public view 
  • look for police approved car parks with the Park Mark logo
  • when in stationary in traffic, keep your doors locked and windows up
  • take your sat nav with you and wipe away any marks left by the suction pads 
  • don't leave items in the glove compartment
  • if you have a garage, use it

Never leave valuable possessions such as handbags, laptops, phones or sat navs on show inside a vehicle. This makes it much more likely to be targeted by thieves. Even items of little value, such as shopping bags and clothing, may tempt a potential thief to break into the vehicle to see whether they contain anything worth stealing. Keep your possessions out of view, or take them with you.

Motorcycle security

When leaving your motorcycle: 

  • always lock it to something secure and set the alarm
  • try to use a designated motorcycle parking place with a stand and security loop
  • don't leave items such as helmets or other possessions with your bike
  • use an immobiliser 

Scooters and mopeds are nearly four times more likely to be stolen than motorbikes. They are light and easy to steal if they're not parked securely, so it's worth taking extra precautions. Always keep your scooter or moped parked in a safe place, where there are lots of passers-by to prevent anyone tampering with it. 

Bicycle security

To make your bicycle less of a target for thieves: 

  • fit a good bike lock, such as one with a Sold Secure rating, and attach your bike to something secure
  • always lock your bicycle, even if you are only leaving it for a couple of minutes
  • have your bike's frame security-marked or etched
  • keep your bike in a secure garage or shed when at home
  • if you have quick-release wheels, lock them up as well or take them with you
  • remove lights from the bike and take them with you
  • register your bike with schemes such as Immobilise

 Further advice and support

The Crime Prevention Website - Free and independent crime prevention and home security advice.

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