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Crime Prevention Advice for Cars, Vans, Motorcycles/ATV’s, Mopeds and Bicycles

Having your vehicle stolen or broken into can be very distressing. Layer your security with Secured By Design approved and/or Nationally accredited products. Below we have listed a few simple steps you can take to keep your vehicle, and what's in it, safe.

 

Cars & Vans

  • If you have a garage “use it” and lock it. If you have gates ensure these are locked. Consider using an alarm for you garage and gates.
  • Leaving items on show is an invitation – Mobile phones, electronic equipment, coins, sunglasses, tools, clothing and bags should be removed from the vehicle or placed in the boot.
  • Keys and ignition fobs should be kept safe and out of sight and reach – a common way to steal a car or van is to take the keys or ignition fob, either when left in the vehicle or from your home through burglary
  • Always lock and close the windows of your vehicle when unattended – on the drive, the petrol station forecourt or when parking an unlocked vehicle is the easiest to steal or steal from. When away from home, consider using a Park Mark approved car park
  • Fit theft resistant number plate fittings – stolen number plates are commonly used to hide the identity of stolen vehicles. Use one-way clutch head screws to secure plates
  • Use a steering wheel lock and/or a lock that fits over the gear lever. Alternatively a security box can be fitted over the pedals to prevent thefts when the vehicle is parked up
  • Double check: Listen out for the sound of your doors locking, lights flashing and/or mirrors closing. If you don't hear or see this it make sure to double check
  • Fit a tracker: These devices can alert you when your car is active and if it's travelling in a new area.

Relay Theft- Vehicles fitted with a smart or passive key are susceptible to relay theft. This key system allows you to gain entry and start your vehicle without the need to interact with your vehicle’s key.

Criminals use specialist equipment that has the ability to grab the signal from the car to the smart key so that it appears to the car that the key is present. Your vehicle is most vulnerable overnight, particularly if parked on your driveway or directly outside your home.

How to prevent this:

  • When not in use – either at home or when out and about - store your keys (including spare keys!) in a security pouch. Security pouches are sometimes termed Faraday bags or signal blockers/shields and there are many security rated versions on the market (PSNI recommend Secured By Design accredited pouches/containers). These will prevent the signal from your vehicle being captured using electronic devices
  • Keep updated with latest software: Many manufacturers are now updating their in-car security systems to stay ahead of these attacks

Key Programming- Key programming is being used by criminals to assign a new key to vehicles, by plugging a device into the On Board Diagnostic port (OBD) of the vehicle. The OBD port will in most cases be located in the driver’s footwell. Criminals will gain entry into your vehicle then plug into this port and programme a blank key to the vehicle.

  • Fit an OBD lock guard professionally fitted
  • Electronic OBD security is available – seek the main dealer’s advice

Catalytic Converter theft - The precious metals used in catalytic converters such as rhodium, platinum and palladium has led to an increase in their theft. Cars that are most often targeted are hybrid vehicles as these vehicles have two power sources (electric and petrol or diesel) so the catalytic converter is used less frequently - the metals are less likely to corrode, meaning they are worth more and therefore more attractive to thieves. Vans and SUV’s are particularly at risk, as the ride height makes access to the exhaust system beneath them easier.

To keep your vehicle safe, ask your manufacture or dealer if they can give you any advice on locks or guards to protect the catalytic converters under the vehicle. Any products will need to be approved by the vehicle manufacturer for use on your vehicle model.

Motorcycles/ATV’s

  • Keep your motorcycle/ATV in a garage, shed, designated bike store or use a motorcycle cover – storing it out of view is one of the best ways to prevent opportunist theft. Consider fitting a garage or shed alarm
  • Fit an alarm, immobiliser, preferably with tracking capability and property mark panels – alarms act as a deterrent and trackers and property marking assists in recovery should your motorcycle be stolen. Tracking systems should be discreetly located to prevent thieves from identifying and removing them
  • Lock the rear wheel to an immovable object or ground anchor and use a disk lock on the front wheel – making your motorcycle/ATV less of any easy option will reduce the chances of it being targeted. Combine the use of a disk lock and a chain lock attached to a ground anchor
  • When possible, keep the lock off the ground – whenever you lock and chain the rear wheel, wrap any excess chain around the rear wheel and try to enclose the lock. Keeping the lock off the ground can prevent it being attacked and smashed
  • Use a bike cover – covers are another hassle for an opportunist thief, if they cannot see what it is they are less likely to target it

 Mopeds

  • Chain your moped rear wheel to an immovable object or ground anchor, don’t rely on the steering lock – standard steering locks are easily defeated and your moped can always be lifted into a van if not secured. Use a disk lock on the front wheel
  • Fit theft resistant number plate fittings – stolen number plates are commonly used to hide the identity of stolen vehicles. Use one-way clutch head screws to secure plates
  • Use a moped cover – covers are another hassle for an opportunist thief, if they cannot see what moped it is they are less likely to target it.
  • When possible, keep the lock off the ground – whenever you lock and chain the rear wheel, wrap any excess chain around the rear wheel and try to enclose the lock. Keeping the lock off the ground can prevent it being attacked and smashed

Bicycles

Tips to prevent bicycle crime

  • Always lock your bike and avoid parking it in isolated or dimly lit places.
  • Invest in a good bike lock. Hardened steel D-shaped locks are recommended as standard. Check out www.soldsecure.com for certified locks, or ask your local bike shop for a recommendation.
  • Lock your bike to an immovable object such as lampposts or railings.
  • Secure removable parts such as wheels, or take smaller parts with you, for example lights and quick release saddles.
  • Get your bike security marked, labelled or engraved.
  • Keep a record of your bike including:
  • Make
  • Type and colour frame number
  • Frame (type and size)
  • Tyres (type and size)
  • Fitted accessories
  • Use a bike cover – covers are another hassle for an opportunist thief, if they cannot see what it is they are less likely to target it

 

Remember criminals will often visit or check an area before attempting to commit a crime.

Be vigilant and report any suspicious activity or concerns.

In an emergency or if you suspect a crime is in progress, dial 999.

Police Non- Emergency: Tel: 101

Crimestoppers - 0800 555 111