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Car keysAdvice on how to protect your vehicle from theft

Vehicle security

It can take as little as 10 seconds for a thief to steal something from your car. Although newer vehicles have a range of security devices there is still a need to take precautions.

If at all possible, leave nothing on view and NEVER leave valuable items or keys in your car.

Close the windows and sunroof; lock the doors and activate any security devices when leaving your car unattended.

If possible, park in a busy, well-lit area.

For more detailed information visit the Gov.uk website.

Protecting your personal vehicle

  • Always lock your vehicle and close the windows and sunroof
  • Leave no valuables on display in the vehicle, place any large items in the boot and ensure any charging cables for phones or sat navs are stored away. The sight of a sat nav charger is often enough for a thief to break into a car. Ensure the windscreen is regularly wiped to remove marks from sat nav fixings
  • ​If your vehicle contains an alarm, ensure it is well marked on the vehicle, this acts as a deterrent to a thief
  • Look after your car keys and keep them out of sight and secure, even when you are at home
  • Ensure the car is parked in a well lit area and where possible in car parks secured with CCTV. The more visible your car is to others the less likely a thief is to target it
  • Secure number plates with tamper proof or clutch head screws.

And some extra precautions:

  • If possible, park your car in a garage and lock both the car and the garage
  • When away from home, try to park in a well-lit, open location, or a police approved ‘ParkMark​’ car park
  • If you have an older car, or one without an alarm, get one fitted, or use a steering lock
  • Fit a tracking device to your vehicle (and ensure you know how to activate it)
  • Have the vehicles registration number or vehicle identification number (VIN) etched on each window.

Keeping your commercial vehicle safe

  • Ensure your vehicle is always locked. Lock the back doors while driving.
  • If your vehicle doesn’t have an alarm, get one fitted. Insurance companies will often give a discount for properly installed and approved alarms.
  • Never leave personal documents in the vehicle’s cab.
  • Never leave tools or equipment in your vehicle overnight.
  • Keep your van keys safe while you are working. Never leave them in your vehicle.
  • ‘High clearance’ vehicles are common targets for catalytic converter theft. Mark yours to deter thieves.
  • Security mark all your tools and equipment to make items uniquely identifiable
  • Don't buy cheap, second hand tools from a building site – they may be stolen. If you are suspicious – tell the police.
  • Keep stops for fuel, food and other goods to a minimum. The fewer stops you need to make (leaving your vehicle unattended) the more secure it will be.
  • Make sure you have fully comprehensive insurance for your vehicle. Thieves will often 'smash and grab' causing damage that is expensive to repair and may take you off the road for several days.

​If your vehicle has been stolen or you see anything suspicious, please call the City of London Police on 101 or if deemed urgent 999.

You can also report the theft online​​



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