The UK has recently faced several economic challenges, from entering a recession to grappling with an energy crisis. With the cost of living soaring and police departments stretched thin, theft rates have unsurprisingly surged. As a business owner, it's crucial to be aware of these trends and take steps to safeguard your assets. Here's a closer look at the current theft landscape and how you can protect your vehicles.
Understanding the Motor Theft Landscape
While the number of motor thefts has decreased over the years (108,000 in 2021 compared to 180,000 in 2006), the financial impact has skyrocketed. The cost of motor crimes jumped from £360m in 2006 to a staggering £1.44bn in 2021. Why? High-end vehicles, like Range Rovers, are now prime targets for organised crime groups. Shockingly, 72% of stolen vehicles are never found, and of those recovered, half are undamaged, indicating a shift towards resale rather than joyriding.
Modern vehicles with keyless technology are particularly vulnerable. Criminals use techniques like 'key hacking' or 'relay theft' to intercept the signal from the key fob and unlock cars. Once inside, they can either steal the vehicle or any valuables left behind. Moreover, catalytic converter thefts have surged due to the precious metals they contain, with rhodium being a prime target, valued at 17 times its weight in gold.
5 Proactive Steps to Guard Your Vehicles
Invest in Physical Security: Simple tools like steering wheel, pedal, and catalytic converter locks can be effective deterrents. For businesses with parking spaces, consider installing bollards to prevent unauthorised access.
Combat Keyless Theft: If your vehicles have keyless technology, turn off the keyless feature or use a fob blocker to prevent signal interception.
Keep It Empty: Avoid leaving personal items, tools, or business equipment in your vehicle. Not only does this deter thieves, but it also prevents potential damage from forced entry.
Smart Parking: Opt for private garages or well-lit areas. If parking in public, choose 'Park Mark' accredited car parks that meet police risk assessment standards. Consider installing CCTV for added security.
Embrace Technology: For high-end vehicles, invest in a vehicle tracker, especially Category S5 Trackers, the gold standard in vehicle tracking.
While theft trends are concerning, proactive measures can significantly reduce the risk to your business vehicles. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and prioritise the safety of your assets.