Van theft is a staggering problem in this country. Every month in the UK, millions of pounds are lost due to theft from, or theft of, vans, increasing business expenses and even putting many vehicle owners out of business.
If you own a commercial vehicle there is a chance that you too could become a victim, either as a result of the theft of the contents of your van, or the theft of the van, itself.
However, there is lots that can be done to prevent vehicle crime. Furthermore, the cost of doing so is relatively small, especially compared to the cost of purchasing a new van or the cost of being out of work while finding a replacement vehicle.
The strategies employed to avoid van theft can be summarised as follows – ‘Deter’, ‘Secure’ and ‘Trace & Recover’.
Deter – Deterrence is often the cheapest and best option.
1.Don’t leave expensive items unattended – a sensible precaution van owners often neglect to do. It is advisable to take expensive items such as tools, PCs and even smartphones with you when you leave your vehicle, or at least place them somewhere in the vehicle that is out of sight;
2.Secure van toolboxes – these are relatively cheap to buy and easy to fit. Usually, they are bolted to the the base of the vehicle and tend to deter all but the most determined thieves;
Secure – The importance of leaving your vehicle secure at all times cannot be overstated.
- Lock it when you leave it – this is an obvious one, but so many people do not do it! Always lock the doors and close the windows of your van. Even a window which is open slightly will allow thieves to access to your vehicle to steal it, or remove its contents. Bear in mind that if you are an employee you could face disciplinary action if your carelessness contributed to the loss of the vehicle, or its contents. As a business owner you face the expense and inconvenience of finding a replacement vehicle;
- Additional locks – many vehicle owners do not realise how easy it is to break into a vehicle. So, for security and peace of mind install a double deadlock lock to the doors of the vehicle. This creates a second powerful obstacle for thieves that must be overcome before they can steal, or remove the contents of, your vehicle;
- Van handle protector plates – this innovation has been around for years and works because it actually encases the barrel of the vehicle’s locks and the area surrounding it. Two varieties are available; a self adhesive protector plate or a plate bolted securely to the vehicle body;
Trace & Recover – technology makes recovering stolen vehicles easier than ever before
Stolen vehicle recovery systems – many stolen vehicles are never recovered. However, vehicle tracking systems can be fitted to any vehicle. This means that if your deterrence and security strategies fail and your vehicle is stolen, quick recovery of your vehicle is still possible. These tracking systems are often installed covertly in your vehicle and activated automatically when unauthorised movement is detected. This means that vehicle thieves will not know that your vehicle has been fitted with a tracking device and that it is operating.