Number of vehicle thefts in Hertfordshire double compared to last year

Car crime
Car crime

The number of vehicle thefts have doubled compared to this time last year, according to new crime figures from Hertfordshire Police.

There were 75 thefts of 
vehicles across the county in April 2016, but last month that doubled to 134.

Many of the vehicles stolen have been motorcycles and mopeds, but cars with keyless systems have also been targeted.

There was also an increase in the number of thefts from vehicles, from 356 last year to 373 last month.

However Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd described the overall trend as positive.

He said: “The constabulary has been focussing on reducing theft from vehicles over the last year and it is encouraging to see that this type of crime has reduced.

“Preventing crime before it happens is the best way to 
protect individuals and 
businesses and there are many steps drivers can take to secure their vehicles from theft.

“Police have been running vehicle security events around the county to help drivers 
implement some of these and I urge all drivers to follow this advice and take steps to make their vehicles secure.”

Inspector Paul Lawrence, of the Herts Police crime reduction team, said: “Bikers are advised to take extra security precautions, by securing motorcycles or scooters using an approved high security chain secured to a ground anchor.

“Consider fitting an alarm and registering the machine with the ‘Master’ security scheme run by Datatag.

“If possible keep the 
vehicle out of sight in a 
garage or shed, or consider 
using a motorcycle cover. If kept in a garage or shed do install an alarm that is on a separate circuit from the household alarm.”

Tips to help prevent theft from your vehicle:

· Never leave valuables on display;

· Never leave tools in your van unless they are secured in an approved tool safe;

· Fit good quality approved* additional external locks to van doors;

· Engrave or mark tools and their boxes with your postcode and house number;

· Use an approved steering lock or gear clamp, and remember to set your immobiliser and alarm if you have one;

· If away from home consider parking your vehicle in a ‘Park Mark’ approved car park.

Tips to help prevent your vehicle being stolen:

· Never hand vehicle keys over to a third party or leave the vehicle unattended at a valet parking, car wash or other parking places, where criminals can gain access to the vehicle and code a key electronically;

· Consider fitting an ‘OBD safe’, a secure lockable device that fits over the vehicle’s on board diagnostic (OBD) port, in the vehicle cabin; This prevents criminals using software to code a key from the vehicle;

· Consider fitting a dual band tracking device that works on VHF/UHF and GPS, to make it more difficult for the tracking signal being blocked;

· Criminals can also employ remote/keyless entry jamming equipment so make sure your car is locked by trying the door before leaving it;

· Ensure that ‘home’ on your vehicle ‘Sat Nav’ is shown as the post code of your local police station and not your actual home address;

· Use an approved* steering wheel lock and never leave your vehicle unlocked – even for a moment;

· If your vehicle has a keyless start system, make sure that you store your key as far away from your vehicle as possible, and place in a metal box if possible.