Tue 17 July 2018

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Vehicle Crime

Alert message sent 07/01/2018 11:38:00

Information sent on behalf of Bedfordshire Police

Good morning,

As the PCSO responsible for the Sharnbrook area, I would like to make you all aware that there has been a recent spate of damage to motor vehicles. Please remain vigilant, ensuring that you secure your vehicles as best you an and please do see the below crime prevention information, regarding vehicle security.


If you have a steering wheel lock, then use it. There are many types on the

market; the most popular are the ʻthread throughʼ style and the steering

wheel shields. Make sure any product bought has the ʻSold Secureʼ

brand of approval. You can also but locking wheel clamps – these are

especially useful if the vehicle is to be left unattended for a long period

(eg, while you are on holiday).

There are now a number of strong boxes that have been designed to fix

into the boot of a car or the back of a van. These are particularly useful if

you need to transport tools or expensive items as part of your work. If

you need to transport tools and equipment as part of your job, empty your

vehicle every evening. It is also worth having a sign in your vehicle that

states no tools are left in it overnight.


Property marking cannot prevent your goods from being stolen but it is a

very good deterrent as it is difficult to sell on stolen property that has been

marked. It also allows the police to return recovered stolen goods to their

rightful owner. Mark your property with your house/flat number and

postcode. If your property has a name, use the first 3 letters instead of the

house number. Use a UV pen to invisibly mark items such as mobile

phones, audio-visual equipment, cameras, etc. Other products on the

market are SmartWater and microdot tagging systems. Consider etching

your windows and alloy wheels.


Most new cars are fitted with an alarm and immobiliser as standard.

However, it is possible to install a higher specification alarm if necessary.

These alarms can also be installed in caravans. Please check the alarm

you buy has the ʻSold Secureʼ seal of approval.


If you can remove the fascia of your stereo, do so. This is the best way

to make your stereo undesirable. You can also secure your stereo by

replacing the fixing screws with small gauge clutch-head screws. It

makes sense to property mark your stereo and other in-car gadgets, too.


Some vehicles now have integrated satellite navigation systems but

many people buy the stand-alone units that fit to the window on cradle

with a plastic sucker pad. If you use one of these items, it is essential

you not only remove the device but also the cradle and wipe the

sucker ring mark off the glass. Thieves will be looking for tell-tale

signs of in-car gadgets as they are small enough to pocket and fetch a

good price. Remember to check your insurance details – some home

contents policies do not cover satellite navigation systems as they are

classed as ʻvehicle accessories'.


Sometimes houses are burgled specifically to get the keys to a

desirable vehicle parked on the drive. When at home, keep your keys

out of the line of vision from doors, letter boxes and windows. Donʼt

store them in an obvious place, like a drawer in the hallway table or

kitchen, or a hook on the back of the door.


If you have a garage, clear it out and park the car in it – this will help

prevent your car being specifically targeted if it is a desirable make and

model. If you own a motorcycle, consider installing a ground anchor

and use a sturdy chain and padlock. You can reinforce the security of

the garage door by fitting a ʻgarage defenderʼ – this prevents the upand-

over door from being raised. Garage windows can be obscured

with frosted adhesive vinyl – if a burglar canʼt see in, it reduces the

temptation to break in. If you can park on a driveway, consider fitting a

fold-down or telescopic post. If you own a caravan or trailer, consider

installing a hitchlock and post.

Make sure the area where you park your car is well-lit. It the parking

area is on private property, you can use a domestic CCTV system.

Always empty your vehicle of property and remove the stereo fascia

when you park up outside your home.


Many multi-storey car parks now have ʻPark Markʼ status. This means

they have been built or refurbished with crime reduction in mind. They

will have signage displaying their status at the entrances. However, it

is always sensible to remove temptation and clear your vehicle when

you park.


Should you witness anything suspicious or out of the ordinary, then please ensure that this information is phoned through to us at Bedfordshire Police either on 101 or in an emergency only 999.

Kind regards
Laura Hoggard
PCSO 8951

Message sent by
Laura Hoggard (Police, PCSO, North)

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