Fleet News

Thieves target unwary fleets

THE police crackdown on street mugging is forcing criminals to shift targets, with complacent company car drivers, who leave mobile phones and laptops on view, becoming the main focus of their attention, a survey has found.

The ninth annual Autoglass car crime survey found thefts from cars are on the increase for the first time in 10 years, up 4% to 1.6 million incidents annually, with the number of mobiles stolen tripling this year. The report added that fleet drivers were not helping themselves by leaving valuables on show.

And with the average cost of a break-in to a company car 53% higher than the national average, at £521, and darker evenings bringing a 22% increase in car break-ins, costs are set to rise for fleets unless drivers change their habits, Autoglass warned.

Ian Carlisle, managing director of Autoglass, said: 'Crackdowns on crime often just move the problem off somewhere else, and we're concerned that chasing robbers off city centre streets is leading them to target cars.

'Fleet drivers seem to be coming off worst – they're more complacent with company cars and equipment that isn't their own, but it's up to fleet managers to ensure their drivers take responsibility.'

However, fleet drivers have little faith in the criminals being brought to justice. One in five are so sceptical of an arrest, they do not bother contacting the police after a break-in. Autoglass has released a 60 second checklist in conjunction with the Association of Chief Police Officers which ACPO estimates could help cut car crime in half.

Sixty second checklist

  • 15 seconds: Park safely in a well-lit, visible location and close to other vehicles.
  • 5 seconds: If detachable, remove the radio, cassette or CD player.
  • 15 seconds: Remove any personal possessions or valuables or lock them in the boot.
  • 10 seconds: make sure you use your steering lock and activate your alarm.
  • 10 seconds: lock all doors, the boot, close windows and sunroof. NEVER leave car keys in the ignition.
  • 5 seconds: Put down your aerial and leave windscreen wipers in the 'park' position to avoid mindless vandalism.
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