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Vehicle Crime, Increase in North Warwickshire

You may have seen on Social Media or local TV that there has been a recent increase in vehicle thefts.

Vehicle Crime

Whether it be via Burglary, Robbery or by simply taking the vehicle without the keys it can be worrying and can promote a great deal of fear about being a victim of crime. We have put some useful information together about the current trends with Vehicle Crime and what you can do to minimise your chances of becoming a victim of Vehicle Crime.

The first way in which Criminals can get hold of your vehicle is by Burglary.

This would involve breaking into a house and stealing the keys to the vehicle, then taking the vehicle.

We have some generic advice to reducing your chances of having your vehicle stolen by burglary

•           Invest in a good quality home alarm, preferably monitored.

•           Keep keys secure and away from doors and windows.

•           If you are leaving your home then take the keys with you, or hand them to a friend or family member who lives away from you.

•           Invest in CCTV and External Lighting for your home. Burglars don't like the light.

•           Invest in good quality locks for your doors and natural defences for your home, defensive planting (of plants that aren't that inviting to climb) is a great way of putting the Burglar off.

•           Invest in Physical vehicle security, Disk Locks, Barriers for your driveway and using your garage to store your car are all good ways of securing your vehicle physically.

•           Invest in a Tracking device, especially if you own a high performance or desirable vehicle.

The second way, is Robbery

This is where violence or threats are used to take a vehicle, in some cases this involves the driver being forced to stop their car and being threatened with violence.   4 Vehicles have been taken in North Warwickshire in the last two months, 3 Volkswagen Golf's and a BMW. Thankfully nobody was seriously hurt but the incidents have clearly had a huge impact on the Victims.

Advice to reduce your chance of having your vehicle stolen by Robbery (Car Jacking)

•           Keep your doors locked and windows up.

•           Show extra caution when driving along singles lane roads, back roads and country lanes at night or if alone - especially if you drive a high performance/desirable vehicle.

•           Invest in a tracking device, especially if you own a high performance or desirable vehicle.

•           If you are forced to stop (after a minor collision) don't get out of your vehicle and talk to the other person through the window. If you are still worried then call the police on 999.

•           Don't be tempted to carry weapons with you - this could land you in trouble with the police if stopped.

•           Report any suspicious activity you see at the road side - make it your job to report it.

•           If you are concerned drive away immediately as long as it is safe to do so.

•           Always report any attempted Robbery on 999 - we are aware of a few posts on social media where these have not been reported to the police.

 

The final way that Criminals can get hold of you car is Taking the car without keys

This is quite common and is often linked to vehicles that have 'Keyless Entry' (or "Push-to-Start" buttons. This involves sophisticated software being used to enter a vehicle and start it within a few seconds. This equipment isn't readily available to the criminal, but it is out there.

The process would involve the thief walking round the outside of your house with scanner, looking for the frequency that your car key has. Once it find this frequency it copies it to a blank key the thief has and then they turn that blank key into a copy of your actual key. They then use this key to open the vehicle, start it and drive it away.

Advice to reduce your chance of having your vehicle stolen by Theft without Keys

•           Keep keys secure and away from doors and windows.

•           Invest in CCTV and External Lighting for your Garden/Drive.

•           Invest in Physical vehicle security, Disk Locks, Barriers for your driveway and using your garage to store your car are all good ways of securing your vehicle physically.

•           Invest in a Tracking device, especially if you own a high performance or desirable vehicle.

•           Invest in a 'defender faraday bag' this bag holds your car keys and does not allow the keys to transmit out of the bag so that the copying of the key won't be possible.

What are the police doing about the increase?

Each Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) will ensure that there is coverage and patrols throughout the evening and into the night. The Response teams who provide 24 hour coverage will also be patrolling in both marked and unmarked vehicles, paying attention to key areas and routes.

OPU (Traffic) have a dedicated 'Northern Car' responsible for any Roads Policing matters in North Warwickshire and Operation Diorite increases that number of available police officers even further.  Operation Diorite is a dedicated operation to tackle the theft of motor vehicles.

Our crime Investigation teams are working with our neighbours in Staffordshire Police and West Midlands Police and a number of arrests have already been made in response to these thefts.

How can we help? As the public?

Great Question!

•           Well, report any suspicious activity immediately.

•           Report any attempted theft, even if you think 'it's not worth it' By building up a clearer picture of any criminal attempts we are able to best direct resources to areas that are being targeted and allows us to request extra resourcing - where it is needed.

•           Keeping your valuable car safe and secure, follow the advice given in this document.

•           Consider a tracker for your vehicle.

Finally a number of vehicles are being recovered, for example a £66,000 camper van was recovered from Kingsbury on Sunday 9th December which was stolen from Tamworth on the 7th. A Mercedes Sprinter which was stolen in Bedworth was recovered whilst the offenders were stripping it, (caught red handed you might say?) as well as some other vehicles stolen from other force areas and dumped in Warwickshire.

Warwickshire is not the only county to suffer this spike in Vehicle Crime, Staffordshire, West Midlands Police and Leicestershire Constabulary have also seen a huge rise in these types of offences.

You are always welcome to contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team in Atherstone or Coleshill by calling 01926 415 000 and quoting extension 3000 for Atherstone or 3554 for Coleshill, Please always use 101 or 999 to report a crime.

Author:1087 Ramsell & Sam Cook Corp Comms.

 

Published 11/12/18