The Government’s crime statistics suggest that fleet owners ought to be wary and stay vigilant.
According to the Crime Survey of England and Wales, there were 919,000 vehicle-related thefts in 2018 – slightly down on 2017’s total of 924,000 but 15.5% higher than 2016’s figure of 796,000. If we break that down according to the type of theft, other worrying trends emerge: thefts of vehicles were estimated to be 26.3% higher in 2018 than in 2016; thefts from vehicles were 16.0% higher; and attempted thefts were 9.2% higher.
What’s more, the very latest figures – which aren’t for a full calendar year, but cover the period from July 2018 to 2019 – suggest that these trends aren’t reversing. Vehicle-related thefts were estimated to be 2% higher during that period than during the previous twelve months.
As the graph below shows, vehicle-related thefts have fallen dramatically since 2001-02, and remain much lower now than they were a decade ago. Nevertheless, the recent spike is a warning to all motorists.
LeasePlan’s own records reveal a similar surge in vehicle-related crimes. Comparing the first quarter of 2018 with the same period in 2017, we saw a 52% rise in incidents involving our vans. Attempted thefts of vans rose by 90%, while vandalism was up by 61%.
So, what can you do to avoid being a victim of one of these crimes? Here are our top tips to keep your vehicle safe from theft.
Six ways to keep your vehicle safe.
1. Park somewhere safe.
Avoid parking in remote or poorly-lit areas. If you’ve got a garage, use it – and lock it.
2. Don’t leave valuables on display.
Take everything of value with you if you can, and place things out of sight if left in the vehicle. Goods and tools can make vans a particular target for thieves – but locked cages can be a deterrent for thieves.
3. Double check you’ve locked the vehicle.
Try the door handle to make sure your vehicle is properly locked when you leave it.
4. Look after your keys.
Don’t leave them on display. Keep them away from doors and windows so that thieves can’t take them.
5. Keep your vehicle up-to-date.
Check periodically to see if your manufacturer has issued a recall. Make sure to have any software updates installed, as these can enhance your vehicle’s security.
6. Use telematics.
As well as the many other benefits of telematics for your fleets, it can also be used to locate and recover your vehicles quickly if they are stolen. Download our guide to find out more about LeasePlan’s telematics program.
Find out more
If you’re interested in seeing how LeasePlan can help keep your fleet safe get in touch with a member of our team using our online form or call our New Business Team on 01753 802448 – we’re always happy to hear from you.