As we revealed last week, car crime is on the up ,with a 20% spike in vehicles stolen in 2016/17. The rise means that, more than ever, motorists need all the help they can get in protecting their vehicles from thieves.
Enter your postcode into the Co-op Insurance’s new interactive map, which reveals the level of car crime in your area.
Check your street
Simply enter your postcode/location in England or Wales and the map displays the number of car crimes that have occurred on your street and in the surrounding area (based on Home Office data). If car crime has occurred in the past six months, the map will display one of three circles: a red circle indicates six or more incidents; an orange circle between three and five instances; and a yellow circle between zero and two crimes.
You can zoom out to check the overall car crime rate in a particular area. It means you can quickly check before heading out where the safest – and unsafest – areas are to park when you arrive at your destination.
For instance, according to Daily Mail research, the area surrounding Bridge Street in Manchester is a hotbed of car crime. Over in Cardiff, Walker Road and the surrounding area is a particular magnet for thieves. The Sun newspaper found that Broad Street and the surrounding area in Birmingham saw high car crime figures as well.
Of course, if your own street is marked as an area with a car crime issue, the map makes for cold comfort. However, according to several experts, including Co-op Insurance, there are several techniques that can be deployed to reduce the chance of car thieves targeting your vehicle:
Protect your vehicle at home
• Don’t reverse into your driveway or garage; instead, drive in nose-first. This makes it more difficult for thieves to make a quick and tidy getaway.
• Park in front of your home if possible, ideally in front of your living room window. This can deter thieves from making an opportunistic theft because they risk you spotting them.
• Ensure your car is locked and its alarm activated. This might sound like stating the obvious, but car thieves are using jammers to block cars’ systems from being activated by their key fobs – so double check your doors are actually locked before walking away.
• Consider additional security equipment for your car, such as a steering wheel lock. While these can be removed by thieves given enough time, they act as a deterrent because they represent a time-consuming challenge.
• Fit a CCTV camera overlooking your driveway or the immediate area outside your home if you park on the street. Such technology is reasonably priced and simple to install.
• Install a tracker device. That way, if your car disappears from your driveway, there’s a very good chance you can track and recover it.
• Never leave your car running on your driveway, even to defrost it on a cold morning! Firstly, it is illegal to do so. Secondly, you can wave your car insurance goodbye if the vehicle is stolen.
Protect your vehicle while out and about
• Always park your car under a streetlight if possible. When using a carpark, park near or next to other cars. Don’t leave your vehicle tucked away in the corner of an under-populated carpark. That gives thieves more time to make off with it, as they are less likely to be seen.
• Park outside restaurants, bars and pubs wherever possible if using street parking. The threat of a customer inside spotting someone interfering with a car’s locks is enough of a deterrent for many thieves to move on to a vehicle that is parked down a dark side street.
• Finally, ensure all valuables are out of sight or removed when leaving your car. From mobiles and sat navs to bags and jackets, shove everything into the boot or take it with you.
There were 250,000 car break-ins last year – don’t end up with your car being featured in next year’s statistics.
What else can you do?
The most obvious thing to do is take action and protect yourself, as mentioned earlier there are a few ways you can do this that works in concert with your car alarm, sadly just relying on a car alarm is not enough to deter the modern car criminal. Stealing and mobilising a car is hard work these days which is why most car thieves break into your house to simply get your keys instead. You can monitor both your driveway and the entrance to your home with a high quality HD video camera. We have the perfect offer from Y-cam, with a HUGE 30% off (£54 RRP) the retail price this week.
The Y-cam Outdoor HD Pro can monitor your driveway and the entrance to your home. Its controlled by a free app and can be viewed at any time, day or night, from anywhere in the world. FREE rolling 7 day cloud storage for 3 years. Sends automatic motion notifications if anyone comes your driveway or entrance to home, watch the clip of who has triggered the notification. Simple to set up, just mount the camera to the wall, turn on and connect to your Wi-Fi router and start protecting your vehicle as well as your home.
Just click on find out more to see the offer and how to get it – Y-CAM offer ends Weds 9th August 2017.
Apply code PP30OFF in promo code box in checkout
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What techniques do you use to ensure your vehicle remains safe when parked up? Or do you feel that if thieves are determined enough to take your car, they’ll steal it whatever you try and do? Let us know your thoughts below.