MOTORISTS are being urged to stay vigilant to car crime as the cold weather starts to creep in.
West Midland Police has revealed its top ten tips to keeping cars safe this winter after 119 people were arrested for car related crime last month.
The region saw a four per cent decrease in vehicle crime from July 2020 to June 2021 according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics.
West Midlands Police says to keep cars safe it has closed down more than 100 chop shops – where stolen cars are broken down for parts – in the past 18 months and continue to run operations targeting the organised gangs behind these illegal businesses as well as increasing patrols where car thieves are known to operate.
The force added that most car theft happens near people’s homes and there are some simple security measures motorists can follow to help.
West Midlands Police’s top 10 tips to help keep your car safe are:
* Check that you’ve locked your car – even if you’ve just gone to pay for your petrol.
* Make sure all windows are closed before leaving your vehicle.
* Use a Sold Secure approved steering wheel lock on your car. You can search for suppliers on Sold Secure or Secured by Design.
* Keep valuables out of sight when leaving your vehicle, including on roof-racks, tailgate racks, roof boxes or items on display inside such as sat navs.
* Register all valuables in the car, such as radios and sat nav systems on Secure Asset Register.
* Store car ownership information at home, not in your car.
* Speak to the main dealer, even if your car is older, as they can tell you how best to protect your vehicle especially from keyless theft.
* Avoid parking in dark and secluded areas if possible.
* Keys should be kept out of view and away from front doors, and never taken to bed with you. Faraday pouches can add an extra layer of security for people with keyless cars. Also keep your spare keys safe, and store those in a protective Faraday pouch or box.
* Secure number plates with anti-theft screws available from car accessory stores.