Nobody wants to come back to the place they have parked their car to find that it has either been broken into or stolen.

Car crime is an issue that drivers run the risk of, however some are more at risk than others. There are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of car crime.


Don't leave valuables on show

Consider what can be seen in the car that potential thieves might want to steal. Don't go leaving things like handbags or wallets on car seats. If you have been using a SatNav, it is best to hide it in your car's glove box as leaving it in your car's window will make it easy for thieves to spot. According to Warwickshire police, coats and jackets are popular with thieves so these should not be left on car seats. The reason for this is because of their potential resale value and also because there could be something useful in the pockets.


Make sure all windows and doors are closed properly

Before you leave your vehicle, you should make sure that all your windows and doors are properly closed. If you neglect to do this then you're leaving an easy method of entry for criminals. Nevertheless, it is easy to forget if one of your passengers has opened a window during a journey. You could also easily fail to close your door properly and not realise. Be vigilant about this.


Consider where you park

Some areas are more susceptible to car crime than others. If you are near an area where you know cars have been broken into in the past, try to park somewhere else. Your best bet is to find the nearest secured car park that you can get access to. It might cost a bit to park here but it'll cost a lot less in the long run than a damaged or stolen vehicle will.

Always ensure your car is parked in a place where it can be seen by other people and somewhere that is well lit. Also, tuck your wing mirrors away and take the aerial down to avoid vandalism.


Keep your car keys safe

Make sure your keys are kept in a safe place and away from the eyes of thieves at all times. Be sure not to leave your car keys in the ignition when you are not behind the wheel. While you may only be stepping away from your vehicle for a few minutes to buy something from a shop or get something from your house that you have forgotten, this is as much time as it takes for a thief to jump into your car and drive it away. If you have a car that you need to lock manually, be careful not to leave your keys in the door by mistake. When you are away from your car, keep your keys hidden or somewhere that you can keep hold of them as you don't know who might have spotted you.


Security devices

It's very important to have security devices fitted to your car to alert people if your car is being broken into or, ultimately, to stop thieves from getting away with it. Most modern cars are fitted with either a car alarm or immobiliser but if yours is not then it is well worth getting one fitted professionally.

If you get a car alarm put in then you should make sure it conforms to the BS 6803 standard. Electronic or mechanical immobilisers are great for stopping someone from getting away with your vehicle. An electronic immobiliser will stop your car from starting if someone tries to steal it. Alternatively, there are inexpensive immobilisers such as steering wheel locks that you can use. These not only prevent thieves from being able to drive away with your car but they are also clearly visible and can act as a deterrent to start with.

Consider installing wheel nuts too, to prevent tyre theft, as these are fairly cheap to buy and easy to install on your vehicle.