Motorists being warned about the dangers as car theft crimes rise by 40% in five years


Even though it’s been reported that car theft crimes in the UK have risen by 40% over the past five years, around 1 in 2 motorists confess to still leaving their cars running unattended on a cold icy morning to defrost.

As a result of this alarming statistic, the car security company Tracker who carried out the survey, is warning motorists about the dangers of leaving a vehicle unattended during the winter months.

According to Head of Police Liaison at Tracker, Clive Wain, peak months for thefts in the UK are December and January which is when we normally experience cold, frosty mornings.

Around 1 out of 2 drivers confess to leaving their car running in the winter to defrost

An abandoned car with a broken back window. © Copyright Nigel Mykura and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Leaving your car running to warm up first thing in the morning does seem the obvious thing to do but having it sat there with the keys in the ignition simply makes it an easy target for opportunistic car thieves.

Your insurance provider may not pay out in the event of a claim if your car was stolen because you’d left it running unattended with the keys in the ignition.

Tracker is warning motorists to remain vigilant this winter and to remember some key preventative measures that could stop you from becoming a victim of crime over the coming months.

Obviously, don’t leave your car running unattended to warm up on cold frosty mornings and whilst this may only be relevant for a few months of the year, there’s a number of measures you can do to protect your property all year round, such as remembering to leave your keys in a safe place out of sight from windows and away from doors.

Also, never leave any belongings on show inside your car as thieves could break in and steal them. Always take your sat nav inside with you and remove anything you think might be tempting to a criminal.

When parking up in the dark, try to find somewhere that’s well-lit and use a multi-storey car park that’s well used if possible when out shopping.

If you have a garage, use it! Most people tend to use their garage as a storage space rather than a safe place to park their car, so maybe it’s time to clean it out and bring the car in.

Never leave spare keys in the glovebox or registration documents belonging to your car inside the vehicle. These should be kept in a safe place at home.

During the winter when the weather turns colder and the darkness comes early, car criminals are ready and watching, so stay vigilant and remember to follow these preventative measures to avoid becoming a victim of crime.


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