Crime Prevention


Your Practical Guide To Crime Prevention – Vehicles

A lot of crime is against cars, motorbikes and
bicycles, including theft of vehicles, and theft from
vehicles. Most of it can be prevented.


  • Get a good bike lock (D locks or combination
    locks are best. Look for Sold Secure Ltd approved
    locks, or ask for a recommendation at a bike shop).

  • Lock your bike to something secure � a bike
    rack or lamppost. If there are no bike racks, you
    could ask the local council if they can put some in.

  • Lock up removable parts (for example, wheels) or
    take them with you (for example, light fittings).

  • Think about having your bike security-marked or


  • Always lock your bike, and set its alarm if it
    has one.

  • When leaving your bike for some time, try to lock
    it to something secure. At home, you can fit special
    attachments to lock your bike to.

  • Use a motorbike cover.

  • Have the vehicle marked with its vehicle
    identification number (VIN).


  • Lock the doors and close the windows when you
    leave the car � for any length of time.

  • Don’t leave anything on display � even a jacket
    can seem like an appealing target for a thief.

  • Remove the stereo if you can. Also, tuck in wing
    mirrors and put the aerial down to discourage

  • Never store your car’s documents in the car.

  • A Thatcham-approved
    immobiliser or steering lock can help secure older

  • Think about having components the windows etched
    with the car’s vehicle registration number (VRN),
    and make a note of its chassis number.

  • Keep your car keys in a safe place, even in your
    house, so that someone breaking in cannot steal your
    car too.

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Car-jacking has become a high-profile crime over
recent years, mainly because media attention has made
people aware of it.

You can help prevent yourself being a victim of
car-jacking by:

  • keeping your doors locked in built up areas, and
    trying to keep the windows wound up, especially at
    traffic lights;

  • being aware of what people are doing around you;

  • using the middle lane, if there is one, when
    waiting at junctions or lights, so that your car is
    harder to get to from the pavement;

  • not stopping to help someone who has broken down
    (if you really want to help, pull over at the next
    garage or police station, and call for help); and

  • driving to the next garage or police station and
    reporting them if someone tries to pull you over for
    no reason.

Sometimes car-jackers may ‘accidentally’ bump into
your car, aiming to get you out of the car so that they
can steal it. If this happens, you may choose not to get
out of the car � especially if you do not think it is
a genuine accident. Wind the window down a little bit to
talk to them if you want to.

Buying a used car

Most car sellers are genuine, whether it is a private
sale or through a garage. However, some traders are not
genuine and may sell on stolen cars.

You can protect yourself by following the advice

  • Contact an organisation, such as the AA, who will
    be able to tell you whether the vehicle has been
    stolen or in a crash.

  • Always arrange to meet the person selling the car
    at their house, not your house or at another meeting

  • Check any security etchings to make sure they
    match and have not been removed.

  • Always check the registration documents and
    service history.

For more information:

Phone the AA on 0870 600 0371 or visit
the AA website

You can also phone the DVLA on 0870 240 0009 or visit
the DVLA website


Last update:  16/09/03

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