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Study: Car Crime in Nottingham

Car crime is serious business. In November 2016, UK Crime Stats noted that there were 37,516 vehicle crimes in England and Wales and a further 34,969 in December 2016

“there were a total of 673 vehicle crimes in November 2016”

When it comes to Nottinghamshire, there were a total of 673 vehicle crimes in November 2016 within the county and a further 522 the month after. It’s hot pickings for criminals when there are cars lining the streets, ready to be stolen for joy rides, getaway vehicles or with the hope of selling them on via the black market.

Nottinghamshire Police work hard to police the community, with over 800 square miles of city landscape and more rural countryside covered. There are more than one million people living within Nottingham – both in the city and within the surrounding towns and villages. Given the vast number of people living in the city, vehicle theft is not as high as it could be although it is still something that the police issue caution over.

Likewise, it’s still one of the higher crimes taking place – in September 2016, there were 66 robberies compared with 602 vehicle crimes. There were also 69 weapon-related crimes. That said, it doesn’t rate as high as anti-social behaviour, which saw 2,915 cases and violent crime, which saw 2,329 in the same month.

Luckily, Nottingham also doesn’t find itself within the top ten car crime hotspots in the UK. For the city, vehicle crime, in terms of occurrence, ranks fairly on par with shoplifting – another crime based largely on spontaneous theft. It is very much about individuals making spur of the moment decisions based on what they see available. It can take as little as 10 seconds for a criminal to steal from your vehicle – little planning is required.

There are some things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim to car crime – and it really is preventable, as well as important for keeping your insurance premium low.

This includes:

  • Make sure you don’t have anything valuable or of interest on view in your car. Even if it’s just your jacket, the best option is to remove all belongings from the vehicle.
  • Ensure all windows and doors are properly closed when you leave. Sometimes windows can open slightly when your car door opens. Make sure you do a quick check before you head off.
  • As obvious as it sounds, make sure you lock your car! Sometimes electric key fobs can stop working without warning so always double-check with a physical check to ensure your doors and boot can’t be opened.
  • Keep your boot and glove box clear of items. Although they won’t be visible to a criminal and therefore won’t be obvious temptation, if someone does get into your vehicle, these will be easy-pickings. This also counts for having a money pot for loose change.
  • Make sure any important documents you have for the car are not kept in the vehicle. This will make the car very easy to re-sell illegally and will also slow down your ability to prove yourself to the police as the legal owner if you have had your vehicle stolen. Keep anything relating to your car in a safe and secure place in your home out of easy reach.
  • Always make sure you take your sat nav out of the car when you leave.
  • Don’t leave your spare key in your car or in a visible place in your home that is near to your car – particularly close to doors or windows. It will be very easy for anyone that breaks into your house to drive off with your car – often for joy rides or to use in another burglary.
  • If possible, use a theft resistant, secure number plate. This will make it harder to remove.
  • When parking your car, make sure you leave it in a well lit, secure surrounding if possible. If there are CCTV cameras around, try to park it so your car will be visible to the camera.
  • You can get your car windows etched with your vehicle registration number or alternatively the last seven digits of the vehicle identification number (VIN). Not only would this help make your car easy to identify for police if the number plate is changed or taken off, but it is also a deterrent to criminals and makes it harder to sell on.
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