Keeping your Van Secure
This week, we’ve heard that the rate of vehicle theft is at its highest in eight years, with an enormous 106,334 incidents recorded in 2017/2018. Moreover, a whopping three-quarters of vehicle thefts in the UK are unsolved, with police not even identifying a suspect. In some areas, the rate is even higher: West Midlands Police closed 95% of cases without a suspect, and in the City of London it’s 96%!
If you drive for a living, this makes for grim reading. It’s a reminder, if one was needed, of the importance of vehicle security. With that in mind, let’s run through a few of the steps you can take to protect yourself.
Don’t Leave Stuff in the Van
If there’s nothing in your van worth stealing, then thieves are less likely to want to break into it. What’s more, the impact of any vehicle theft will be lessened, since any thief who makes off with your van won’t take the stuff that you’ve stored in the back of it.
Always Lock Your Van
You might suppose that, because you’re only popping into a corner-shop for two minutes to pick up a lottery ticket and a Snickers, thieves won’t have time to strike. But most thieves are opportunists, and it only takes a brief lapse in security for them to strike. Don’t take the risk; lock up each time.
Shut the Windows
It should probably go without saying that you should also shut your van’s windows when you’re not around. Thieves will resort to sophisticated methods if they have to, but they’re not above simply clambering through the window. To make your windows extra-secure, you might fit grilles and foils.
Park in a Secure Area
If you’re parking overnight, opt for a dedicated parking facility with CCTV cameras covering every exit. If there isn’t a suitable car park available, and you need to park on the street, then look for somewhere that’s well-lit.
Reconsider Your Branding
If you’re running your own business, you might be tempted to use your van to advertise your services. But in doing so, you’ll indicate to thieves that your van might contain expensive, saleable tools. It’s worth therefore accompanying any branding with a message indicating that no tools are left in the van overnight.
Track Your Van
Fitting a used van with a tracker will allow the authorities to more easily track it down in the few minutes after it’s been stolen. Trackers are getting cheaper and better, and so increasingly make a worthwhile investment. Some insurers will even offer substantial discounts to vehicles fitted with tracking devices.
Get a Decent Alarm
If you want the best possible protection, look for an alarm that’s rated Thatcham category-1. This sort of alarm will incorporate an engine immobiliser, and it’s powered by an independent battery, making it especially difficult to tamper with.
When you’re travelling from place to place, you’ll need to rely on your own security measures. Equip your van suitably, and you’ll put yourself at lesser risk.