Fleet News

60-second checklist to beat vehicle crime

FLEET drivers are being urged to follow a 60-second checklist that could help discourage thieves from targeting their company cars.

It comes in the wake of warnings that driver complacency is responsible for an increase in the number of incidents involving company vehicles.

An Autoglass car crime report found that two-thirds of fleet drivers appear to have given up the battle against smash and grab car crooks, believing there is little they can do to prevent them (Fleet NewsNet, October 28).

But Autoglass has produced a 60 second checklist fleet drivers can follow to help protect cars from attacks.

The company, which won the Best Glass Repair/Replacement Company award at the Fleet News Awards this year, has also identified the areas of the UK hardest hit by car crime.

Topping the list is the wealthy suburb Loughton in Essex, at the heart of Epping Forest and surrounded by Chingford, Chigwell and Buckhurst Hill.

As part of the study, Autoglass released a case study of a real car crook.

The 15-year-old said: ‘Lots of people leave their cars parked in station car parks while they take the train to work and they leave the most amazing amount of stuff on show. ‘My friend used a shatter hammer on the windows, I’d pop the boot and within minutes we’d be out of there with something to sell on. We’d aim for at least a couple of laptops a week as we earned £500 for those, but if the traders let us know they were looking for something in particular, we’d raid the local car parks to get it.’

Autoglass managing director Nigel Doggett said: ‘Too many fleet drivers are still tempting thieves by leaving on show exactly the kind of valuables they target – in fact three times as many fleet drivers have had laptops stolen this year compared with last year – and that leaves their managers paying the price for increased insurance premiums, lost business time and more downtime.’

  • The survey can be found at www.autoglass.co.uk

    Hotspot league table

    Location Ranking 02/03 Ranking 03/04 Movement y/y
    Loughton 1 1 0
    Liverpool 14 2 12
    Halifax 4 3 1
    Romford 15 4 11
    Leeds 3 5 -2
    Oldham 2 6 -4
    Luton 10 7 3
    Dartford 17 8 9
    Hull 9 9 0
    Sheffield 29 10 19
    Manchester 12 11 1
    Bromley 13 12 1
    Bolton 7 13 -6
    Bradford 6 14 -8
    Nottingham 8 15 -7
    Cardiff 19 16 3
    Wakefield 5 17 -12
    Huddersfield 11 18 -7
    St Albans 20 19 1
    Slough 16 20 -4

    How one minute’s work can save hundreds of pounds

  • DON’T opt for the nearest space and try to park in a well-lit, open location, such as under a street lamp, in public view or close to CCTV cameras. TIME TAKEN: 15 seconds

  • STEREOS are the most commonly stolen item. If detachable, remove the unit or its front panel. TIME TAKEN: 5 seconds

  • LOCK doors and boot, close windows and shut the sunroof. Remove the ignition key every time you leave your car, even for the shortest of stops or when filling up with fuel. TIME TAKEN:10 seconds

  • Take mobile phones, wallets, bags, CDs and other personal items with you or lock them in the glovebox or boot, being careful not to draw attention to what you are doing. TIME TAKEN: 15 seconds

  • ACTIVATE alarm and immobiliser and, if you have one, always use your steering locks or other security devices. TIME TAKEN: 10 seconds

  • IF you can, lock your fuel cap and leave windscreen wipers in the ‘park’ position to avoid mindless. TIME TAKEN: 5 seconds
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