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16th May 2019
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The focus in recent years has been so much on ensuring we’re not bringing anything into the country which (or who) shouldn’t be here, that it appears we’ve lost focus on the awareness that others might want to take stuff out!
Vehicle leasing specialist Arval (www.services.arval.co.uk) has timely advice for fleet operators in the light of reports that thefts from vans are rising rapidly… New figures obtained by the BBC from 30 police forces show that these thefts have increased from 14,063 in 2014/15 to 22,749 in 2016/17. A van is broken into every 23 minutes.
“These figures are consistent with what we’re hearing from fleets at the moment,” says Arval’s Simon Cook. “In our experience, van crime tends to occur in cycles and our feeling is that we are on an upswing.
“What tends to happen is that thieves devise a new method of breaking in, operators adopt ways of preventing it, and there follows a decrease in the crime. Then, new techniques appear, and the whole thing happens again.”
Simon says manufacturers are trying to increase payload – sometimes by reducing the van’s weight by using lighter steel. This means it’s easier to use tools to cut through or to bend door frames. Commercially available transponder keys can also offer easy entry.
He says getting the right advice is paramount, since you can easily add up to £1,000 to the vehicle’s cost in locks and other security-related items.
Other suggestions include fitting the right security equipment (options include slam locks and trackers); indeed, anything that will protect the vehicle and make it difficult, noisy, or time-consuming for thieves to get in and to ensure that keys are kept secure at all times. Parking close to an occupied building or in a conspicuous, well-lit location is also sensible, although with long-distance drivers wanting a few hours rest at night, this isn’t always something that’s considered.
He also warns that while a heavily liveried vehicle is a good advertisement for your business, it’s also an indication of what’s inside as criminals can target certain industries or even companies.
As a teenager, I was working at a manufacturing company when a colleague had his lorry hijacked. Held prisoner as the thieves stole everything, he was frightened for his life and although physically unscathed, he never drove a delivery lorry again. Vehicle security might be expensive, but when you consider what’s at stake…
12th May 2017