With the warmer weather returning and Corona restrictions being lifted just think about car safety when out and about visiting attraction in and around Somerset. Here is some crime reduction advice ideas to reduce you becoming a victim.
Catalytic converters are targeted because of the precious metals that they are made with, namely rhodium, platinum and palladium. Thieves simply cut the catalytic converter from the exhaust pipe of a parked car and sell them on to scrap metal dealers. Taller vehicles are more vulnerable as the catalytic converters are easier to access.
To reduce the risk of having your catalytic converter stolen you could
- Park to restrict access to the underneath of the car
- Ask your dealer to weld the catalytic converter to the car
- Fit a tilt alarm
- Purchase anti-theft products, such as a cage clamp
- Register your converter and mark it with a forensic marker, which will make it harder for thieves to dispose of
For more information on catalytic converter theft, have a look at this BBC One Inside Out Catalytic Converter Theft video from March 2020.
KEYLESS CAR THEFT
Keyless car theft – also known as relay theft – is relatively simple. With a relay amplifier and a relay transmitter, a thief can detect whether the car has keyless entry. Working in pairs they identify a house with a car parked nearby and one person stands by the car with a transmitter, while a second waves an amplifier around the perimeter of the house. If the car key is close enough the amplifier will detect its signal, amplify it, and send it to the accomplice’s transmitter.
This transmitter then effectively becomes the key, and tricks the car into thinking the real key is nearby. The thieves can then open the car, get in and drive away.
The whole process can take as little as 60 seconds and can be completed in near silence.
TOP TIPS TO AVOID KEYLESS THEFT
To avoid keyless car theft remember DISTANCE, SIGNAL, STEERING WHEEL.
KEEP KEYS A SAFE DISTANCE FROM THE CAR: Keeping keys far away from doors and windows. This will minimise the chances a thief will be able to find and amplify the key’s signal and is general good practice.
BLOCK OR TURN OFF THE SIGNAL: Consider purchasing a Faraday pouch to keep your car key in. These pouches contain signal-blocking materials that stop your key transmitting its code, preventing crooks from being able to detect and amplify the signal. Check your manual or speak to your dealer to find out if your key can be switched off
STEERING WHEEL LOCK: Consider using a steering wheel lock, a driveway parking post, or even a wheel clamp
For more information and further tips look at this ‘Keyless could be Carless’ information sheet from West Yorkshire Police.
PROTECT YOUR MOTORCYCLE, MOPED or SCOOTER
To protect you motorcycle, moped or scooter remember LOCK, CHAIN, COVER.
LOCK: use a disc lock to help secure the front brake disc, or a grip lock to secure the brake and throttle controls. You could also use a D lock on the front wheel to stop it being wheeled away.
CHAIN: Use a chain lock through the back wheel (the front wheel can be removed). Chain your bike to something heavy, even when in a garage. You can fit specific attachments to lock your bike to at home.
COVER: Thieves often ‘shop’ for particular bike models. Using a cover instantly makes it less attractive to them. A cover also provides another time consuming obstacle for the thief.
For more information on LOCK, CHAIN, COVER see the Protect your motorcycle page from Met Police.
Set its alarm if it has one
Use a designated motorcycle parking place with a stand and security loop if you can
Mark your motorbike with its vehicle identification number
Add a ‘kill switch’ which prevents the start button from working unless pressed
Never leave loose items such as helmets or other possessions with your bike
If you have been unlucky enough to be a victim of car crime, see our steps on how to report a crime.
You can report the crime by contacting the police on 101
Or go onto Avon and Somerset Constabulary web page and report your crime online.