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With car crime continuing to rise, ensuring our vehicles are secure is a priority.
Theft of, and from, vehicles is now at a five-year high. The new breed of car thief is much more sophisticated than the joyrider of old. They no longer rely on a screwdriver or a crowbar to gain access to vehicles. Instead, they use technology to override modern alarms and locking systems.
While it used to be old, cheaper cars that were at greater risk of theft, these days it's higher value vehicles – including not only cars, but motorbikes, caravans and even boats – that are often stolen to order. Afterwards, their identity is changed and they're sold abroad, or stripped for parts.
If you have a secure garage, perhaps fitted with an alarm or another kind of security system, you give the criminal an extra challenge that may deter them from attempting to steal your vehicle.
But what if you live in one of the increasing number of homes that don't have a garage?
Here's a quick guide to some of the measures you can take to deter a criminal from driving off with your property.
None of them are foolproof but taken together they can persuade criminals to look elsewhere.
Even if you don't have a garage, there are ways of parking your car that can help reduce the risk of it being stolen or broken into.
If you have a driveway, drive as far onto it as possible, increasing the distance between the car's position and the road.
Park as close as to the house as you can, ideally stationing the car near a large window.
Exterior lighting can act as a deterrent to would-be car criminals.
Eliminate those dark corners, and illuminate the driveway. Position motion-triggered lighting all around the car.
Most thieves act under the cover of darkness. By removing it, you make their task much harder.
We see notices reminding us to hide valuables we leave in our car nearly every time we use a public car park.
Despite this, many of us forget, or can't be bothered, only to receive a nasty surprise when we return.
The only reason the advice to keep things hidden appears so frequently is because theft from cars is such a common crime.
We're even more likely to leave valuable items on the car seat when the car's parked on the driveway in the mistaken belief that it's safe.
This is an open invitation to small-time criminals, many of whom spend their time checking parked cars for valuable items they can easily acquire.
If a criminal can dart onto your driveway to check your car then anything you leave visible within it is at risk.
If some unscrupulous person is meddling with your car, you need to know about it.
A car alarm does just that.
Even though they can't physically stop your car from being stolen, the prospect of piercing sound and flashing lights usually acts as a significant deterrent.
Most modern cars come with an alarm, however, they're certainly not foolproof against some of the high-tech methods favoured by modern thieves who now have the ability to override them.
They're simple, and they've been around for decades, but they're still one of the easiest and most effective ways to enhance your car’s security.
Even if a criminal gains access, they’re going nowhere if they can’t steer.
Choose a heavy-duty option that completely covers the whole steering wheel; they will deter all but the most committed criminal.
They'll also help to prevent steering wheel or airbag theft.
This is an increasingly common problem as criminals look for parts with which to repair crash-damaged vehicles.
Car thieves are famously camera shy.
By installing securely-positioned CCTV, you can deter criminals and have valuable evidence you can pass onto the police should the worst happen.
CCTV is now cheap, easy-to-use, and can be linked to your smartphone enabling you to look at footage even when you're away from home.
Modern systems can include motion-triggered recording and infrared night cameras, giving you extra security and peace of mind.
A simple but effective means to keep your car safe on your driveway is by installing a security post or bollard.
They increase the security around your driveway, protect your property from unwanted intrusion, and make car theft practically impossible.
Designed to withstand significant impact force, they're usually positioned between where you normally park your car and the end of the driveway.
This creates a solid physical barrier which acts as a deterrent to would-be-criminals.
They come in lift-out, automatically rising and falling or bolt-down options.
GPS trackers have become increasingly popular for vehicle security over recent years, and there have been significant technological advancements.
There is now a wide range of choice available, with the most common options being a magnetic GPS vehicle tracker or an insurance-approved tracker.
The magnetic GPS vehicle tracker can easily be attached, and switched between different vehicles whenever you want.
With real-time tracking, speed logs and full history, they are a cost-effective solution.
Due to escalating vehicle crime levels, some insurance providers now insist that your car is fitted with a monitored stolen vehicle tracker, or VTS (Vehicle Tracking Systems) as they are sometimes known.
The benefit, in addition to the security it affords, is that having one fitted is likely to give you a reduction on your insurance policy.
Signs such as ‘No tools or items of value stored in vehicle overnight’ or ‘CCTV operating in this vehicle’ act as deterrents for would-be criminals.
There are numerous signs now available for vehicle security purposes, and these can be used to protect tools and other valuable items.
Security signs normally come in highly-visible yellow and black designs, and are usually available in a range of sizes.
Placed appropriately, they can be an effective visual deterrent, ensuring that your vehicles have an extra layer of security.
The optimum solution for securing your driveway is without doubt, properly installed electronic gates.
They provide high levels of security, not only for your vehicles but also for your entire property.
If your driveway has no gate, or it has low gates which are left unlocked, then it's not too much trouble for a criminal to take your vehicle.
Electric gates significantly improve levels of security, making it very difficult for a thief to drive your car away.
Powerful locking mechanisms can help to keep your home, your car and your family secure.
When designed specifically for security purposes, they can withstand high degrees of force. Installing electric driveway gates can give you peace of mind, as well as adding value and kerb appeal to your home.
To find out more about how electric gates can keep your vehicles secure, and increase your home's kerb appeal, get in touch with the experienced team at LinkCare today.
Call us on 01895 232 626 or send an email to info@LinkCare.net