Fleet News

Smash-and-grab thieves target company vehicles

COMPANY drivers are twice as likely as other motorists to become victims of smash-and-grab attacks while sitting in a jam or at traffic lights, new research has found.

The terrifying ordeal for unwitting motorists of being targeted in queues accounted for one in six fleet car attacks in the past year.

The study also found that belongings being left on display in cars meant the average haul from a typical fleet motorist was now £594.

The findings are produced in the 12th annual Autoglass car crime report which reveals the cost of attacks to motorists last year totalled almost £1.4 billion. It also quizzed fleet drivers on other implications of an attack on their vehicle and estimated that each incident costs 27 business hours on average, in terms of lost business equipment or information and the car being off the road.

Autoglass managing director Nigel Doggett said: ‘While car crime figures might be going down year on year, car crooks are becoming increasingly bold in targeting victims.

‘And it’s no wonder when today’s portable technology means fleet motorists are sitting ducks for smash-and-grab crooks who can’t resists taking a chance on getting their hands on a car full of gadgets, even if the car owner is sitting in their vehicle when they strike.’

The company suggests that fleets should educate their drivers to stow valuables out of sight, even if they are sitting in the car.

A copy of the report has been sent to Home Secretary Charles Clarke.

The most commonly stolen items from fleet vehicles:

  • Briefcases/luggage 21%
  • Laptops 20%
  • Mobile phones 20%
  • CDs/cassettes 13%
  • Cash/cheque book/ credit cards 13%
  • Clothes 10%
  • Digital cameras 6%

    Report highlights latest crime statistics

    FINDINGS in the Autoglass car crime report include:

  • One in 10 fleet vehicles fell victim to car crime in the last 12 months
  • 22% of thefts from fleet vehicles happen in public car parks but the most at-risk place for car theft is on a public street (27%)
  • Nearly a third of fleet managers think their drivers don’t do enough to prevent car crime but 29% don’t give their drivers guidelines to help them reduce the risk of becoming a victim
  • Four in five (84%) of fleet managers say it is company policy to report car crime to the police but more than a quarter (27%) don’t expect the criminals to be charged
  • Fleet managers estimate a £2,536 annual cost on average of increased insurance premiums due to car crime
  • More than half (52%) of those questioned would like more support from local police in a bid to combat car crime, ideally by providing a more visible presence (24%) or responding more quickly (19% of those polled)
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