Recent studies have shown that vehicle theft crime has risen to the highest level in four years, as more than 150,000 cars, vans and motorcycles were reported as stolen between 2018-2019. (According to data analysed by RAC)
Can your business afford to lose vehicles? In a fifth of cases (18% in 2018), thieves were able to access vehicles because they were not locked in the first place. Government data also shows that thieves generally use keys to access vehicles in around half of the crimes, which suggests that drivers need to do more to prevent theft.
AC Insurance spokesperson Simon Williams said motorists could draw “a crumb of comfort” from the “disturbing” figures because the number of thefts could be beginning to level off.
“These figures paint a rather disturbing picture – vehicle thefts are on the rise almost everywhere, and in some parts of the country numbers are rocketing,” he said. “While vehicle crime is at far lower levels today than it was in the early 1990s, thanks to improvements in vehicle security, and the number of vehicles licensed to be driven on the UK’s roads is higher than at any point in the past, it’s still concerning that so many more vehicles are being stolen than just a few years ago.
“One crumb of comfort from the data, however, is that the increases might be starting to plateau, and it will be interesting to discover just what effect the coronavirus lockdown has on vehicle thefts when the data becomes available.”
“Based on these figures, it’s vital drivers take steps to protect themselves and avoid being an easy target. Three of the biggest factors that determine whether a car is stolen or not come down to how it’s secured, where it’s kept and the time of day. Criminals appear to prefer stealing vehicles at night, with those parked at owners’ homes, presumably where there is easier access to a key, also being favoured.
“While organised criminal gangs are responsible for a large proportion of crime, thieves will also be opportunistic in nature, so the more a driver can do to make their car a less likely target the better.”
So, how do we prevent vehicle theft?
Real-time Telematics can help provide cover on the location and usage of your vehicles. GPS capability allows you to monitor your vehicle’s location at any time of the day. Geofencing creates alerts when your vehicle travels beyond a certain geographical location, allow you to see any suspicious activity. The ability to monitor your fleet at all hours helps to prevent misuse of company property and match up mileage and fuel claims amongst your drivers.