Vehicle Crime Prevention Advice

Essex Police - Protecting & Serving Essex - February Crime reportVehicle Crime

Followers of this news feed may have noticed an increase in vehicle crimes lately; certainly Essex Police have and they offer the following advice:

Did you know that…

  • Most vehicle crime is preventable.  It can take as little as 10 seconds for a thief to steal something from your car.  If at all possible, leave nothing on view.
  • Never leave valuable items in your car, including sunglasses, the removable radio cover and your Sat Nav.  Do you really need all those things you keep in the glove box?
  • Wipe away the Sat Nav mark on your windscreen.
  • Consider fitting anti-tamper screws to your number plate.
  • Never leave your car keys where they can be seen from the front door.

Vehicle common sense


  • Close the windows and sunroof; lock the doors and activate any security devices when leaving your car unattended.
  • Park with care, particularly at night or if you are leaving the vehicle for a long time.  If possible, park in a busy, well-lit area.


  • Leave cash, credit cards, chequebook, mobile phones, vehicle documents or other valuables in the car.
  • Leave your keys in the car, even for a second – treat them as you would your cash and credit cards.

Secure your vehicle, or risk losing it


Electronic engine immobilisers prevent your vehicle from starting and are the best way to stop thieves. Only buy security devices that are approved by either Thatcham, the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre on 01635 868855,, or by Sold Secure on 01327 264687, or visit Have it professionally fitted either by your car dealer or by an installer approved by the Vehicle Systems Installation Board.


Alarms help to deter thieves from stealing your car, or breaking into it. For more information about alarms, contact the Vehicle Security National Helpline on 08705 502006, or find an approved installer through the Vehicle Systems Installation Board at

Property and equipment marking

Etching your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or registration number onto your windscreen, windows and headlights provides an additional visible deterrent.

Property mark your equipment, such as stereos and satellite navigation systems, with your postcode and house number. Make a note of the make, model and serial number and register it at the National Property Register, visit:

Steering locks

Steering locks are a very visible deterrent and are ideal also for older cars. Fit one that has been tested by Thatcham and meets Category 4 approval.

Don’t give thieves a motive.

Keep your valuables safe. Remember, many thieves aren’t even after your car, they’re looking to steal the valuable possessions you’ve left on display in your vehicle. In fact, every year, more cars are broken into than are stolen. The simple advice needs to be repeated as it will help you keep your belongings out of the hands of criminals:

  1. Never leave valuable items such as satellite navigation systems in your car overnight, even if it is parked in your driveway. Most thefts of and from vehicles happen when they are parked outside the home.
  2. When removing your satellite navigation equipment, don’t forget to erase the suction mark it leaves on your windscreen.
  3. Keep bags and other valuable belongings out of sight and lock your doors or wind up your windows when stationary or in slow moving traffic. Thieves can lean in and steal your things in just a couple of seconds.

Advice about motorcycles and cycles

  • To secure your motorbike, use a steering lock and steel cable, or D-lock to attach your bike to security rails or a ground anchor.
  • For extra security, have an alarm and immobiliser fitted.
  • To secure your bicycle, buy a good quality D-lock or combination lock.
  • When leaving your bicycle unattended, lock both wheels and remove detachable items like lights.
  • Consider getting your bike frame security marked.

Information taken from Metropolitan Police – Total Policing website

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