Theft of Motor Vehicles
Vehicles are usually the second biggest investment that you will make after your home, so it is vital that you make sure they are as secure as possible. Many people require the use of their vehicle for work purposes and day to day business such as doing the school run, shopping and visiting family and friends. Having your vehicle stolen can be a traumatic experience, costly and extremely inconvenient to say the least.
The following advice is provided to assist you in reducing the opportunity for your vehicle to be stolen, some changes can be made free of charge and others will vary in cost depending on your vehicle and additional requirements:
- If you have a garage at home use it to secure your vehicle in when not in use, as opposed to additional storage space
- Do you really need to bring a work vehicle home with you? Is there a more secure option at your place of work?
- If you park your car on your driveway make sure the area is well lit. This also applies to when you are parking your vehicle in a public place
- If you have gates on your property ensure that they are closed/secure and you could also consider fitting a security post/bollard
- When leaving your vehicle always make sure it is fully locked before walking away by actually checking the door handle
- Check to see how many ‘clicks’ on your key fob activates which security features on your vehicle – what was two clicks on your old car may do something different on your new one? If you are unsure consult the handbook or speak to the dealership where you bought it from
- When you get home don’t leave the keys for your vehicle on the side in the kitchen, on show or within reach of the letterbox or cat flap and always lock your house door behind you (remove the keys from the lock and do not leave them on view/in reach)
- Don’t keep the keys to your vehicle in an obvious place – don’t make it easy for a thief to see them or find them
- Always turn the vehicle off when not in use and remove the ignition keys – don’t leave the vehicle running/the keys in the ignition when nipping into the shop for a newspaper or paying for fuel
- In the winter months don’t leave the vehicle running and unattended when defrosting it
- Some vehicles may be susceptible to a breach of the on board diagnostics port (OBD socket) – OBD locks are available and can assist in reducing the access to the port. As with any additional security for vehicles try to purchase devices that are Thatcham quality assured or Sold Secure tested (www.thatcham.org) and/or www.soldsecure.com)
- Depending on your vehicle other physical security options may include deadlocks, slam locks, pedal boxes, wheel clamps/locks and steering locks – again look for devices that are Thatcham quality assured or Sold Secure tested
- If your vehicle doesn’t have an immobiliser or an alarm then consider having one professionally fitted to the Thatcham quality assured standard
- Tracking devices are also available and may suit more expensive or high performance vehicles
- If you are parking your vehicle in a public place try to find a car park that has received ‘Park Mark’ accreditation – these sites have gone through a process to improve and sustain levels of security (www.parkmark.co.uk)
If any upgrades to security/modifications are made to your vehicle it is worth mentioning to your insurance company as you may qualify for a discount on your premium.
West Yorkshire Police has a Crime Prevention Team in each of the five policing Districts. Please do not hesitate to contact your local Crime Prevention Officers for further advice, they are there to support you and offer additional information on specific requirements. You can contact the local Crime Prevention Officers by calling 101 and asking to be put through to them in Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds or Wakefield. You can also email them on the following:
Page last reviewed February 2022.