Security Advice to Prevent Theft & Crime

Having your van or work vehicle stolen, broken into and contents stolen can be very distressing. Below we have listed a few simple steps you can take to keep your vehicle, and what's in it, safe. By layering security with SBD approved products you help prevent theft and vehicle crime.

Tools in tradesman’s and company vehicles are regularly targeted by thieves, as they are expensive and easily disposed of at boot fayres or via websites. The cost of tool theft can be devastatingly expensive for tradesmen and businesses, not to mention the inconvenience of replacing the tools and the loss of trade.

To make matters worse thieves will often target that same tradesperson or business again once the stolen tools have been replaced with new products.

01

Don't Leave Valuables on Show

It might sound obvious but leaving items on show is an invitation to the opportunist criminal - mobile phones, satnavs and mounts, power leads, money, wallets, handbags, sunglasses, sports clothing and bags - should be removed from the vehicle or hidden well out of sight
02

Hide Keys & Fobs

Keys and ignition fobs should be kept safe and out of sight and reach. A common way to steal a vehicle is to take the keys or ignition fob, either when left in the vehicle, so never leave them in the vehicle, even if it is unattended for a moment. When at home ensure that your keys or ignition fob are kept well away from windows or doors so that they cannot be seen by a potential thief, and never leave them close to the front door where they can be accessed through letterboxes
03

Lock Doors & Close Windows!

Always lock and close the windows of your vehicle when unattended, be this on the drive, the petrol station forecourt, when de-icing your vehicle in the winter or when getting a ticket to park. An unlocked vehicle is the easiest to steal or steal from If your vehicle is not fitted with a manufacturers’ fitted alarm and/or immobiliser, consider installing an approved system. Most new vehicles come with one fitted, you can find out more from the Thatcham Research Centre. The Thatcham Research Consumer Security Rating assesses a new vehicle’s all-round security.
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04

Install a Tracker

Tracker systems can increase the recovery of your van if it is stolen. Many systems activate once the van is stolen and track the car via GPS and other systems. SBD have several members which specialise in this area and can advise on the best system and fitting of the product for your vehicle type
05

Use Physical Security

Fit theft-resistant number plate fittings. Stolen number plates are commonly used to hide the identity of stolen vehicles. Use one-way clutch head screws to secure number plates.
Physical security products such as a steering wheel lock or a lock that fits over the gear lever still act as a good deterrent. Alternatively, a security box can be fitted over the pedals to prevent thefts when the vehicle is parked up.
Where possible, keep your van in a garage. Parking your vehicle out of view is one of the best ways to prevent opportunist theft.
06

Fit a Garage Alarm

If you have a house alarm system, consider connecting it to the garage. Another option is to park your van on a drive. If your drive has gates, consider closing them at night or when you are not using your vehicle

Tool Theft

Tools in tradesman’s and company vehicles are regularly targeted by thieves, as they are expensive and easily disposed of at boot fayres or via websites. The cost of tool theft can be devastatingly expensive for tradesmen and business, not to mention the inconvenience of replacing the tools and the loss of trade. To make matters worse thieves will often target that same tradesman or business again once the stolen tools have been replaced with new products.

Taking these 10 steps can reduce the risk:

01
When you're parking your van, even for short periods at the builders’ merchants, a café or on a job, you should think carefully about where you are stopping. Parking with the rear or side doors against a wall or very sturdy railings will help to ensure that they can't be prised open
02
Where possible, make sure you park in well-lit areas with lots of foot traffic, and ideally with CCTV cameras insight or where you can see your vehicle from where you are working
03
Fit a secure van vault in the rear for expensive power tools. They come in a range of different sizes and can be bolted to the vehicle cargo floor
04
Tools are often recovered by the police but frustratingly the police are unable to trace the owner. Security marking your tools using an SBD recognised forensic asset marking or etching kit is another highly effective, visible deterrent to thieves and an established method of reducing theft
05
Where possible, make sure you park in well-lit areas with lots of foot traffic, and ideally with CCTV cameras insight or where you can see your vehicle from where you are working
06
Tools and other property can be registered on an SBD approved Tool and Asset databases, these systems can assist the Police to trace stolen property back to the owner and importantly prove it was stolen
07
Advertise the fact you use a security system for your van and tools with a sticker on the vehicle. consider using a battery-operated GSM mobile alert system and camera which can alert you to anything suspicious
08
Tracking systems can be used for larger tools. Many systems are battery operated and activate once the item is stolen and track the car via GPS and other systems. SBD have several members which specialise in this area and can advise on the best system and fitting of the product for your vehicle type
09
Remove tools from your van when left overnight and store them in a safe place
10
If you are parking your vehicle on the street overnight, consider parking it under or near a street light. The opportunistic criminal does not want to be seen or caught and this simple tip may just protect your van, not only from theft but, someone causing criminal damage to your vehicle.

Install CCTV

CCTV can be a deterrent and help protect both your van, its contents and your premises. If you do decide to use CCTV it is important to read the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) advice on Domestic CCTV systems. Click the button below to find out more:

ParkMark

Parking Away from Home

When away from home, consider using a Park Mark approved car park

There are 5,000+ ‘Park Mark’ car parks around the country.  The Park Mark® Safer Parking Scheme is part of the Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI) portfolio and is aimed at reducing both crime and the fear of crime in parking facilities.

Accredited car parks can be found at train stations, hospitals, universities, town centres, shopping centres, leisure centres, airports, supermarkets, banks and office blocks.

The smallest has 10 spaces, the largest has 13,000.  You can find them in cities, towns, villages and tourist attractions. 

Park Mark

Police Preferred Specification Products for

Vehicle Security