The good news is that domestic burglary figures continue to decline within the Triangle. The bad news, however, is that motor vehicle crime, mainly involving theft from motor vehicles; motorbike and bicycle theft is on the increase.
It may be difficult to protect your car from a determined, professional thief, but in most cases car crime is committed by opportunists who often take less than a minute to get into a vehicle. Thieves like items that are concealable, removable, accessible and valuable.
The top 5 most common items stolen from vehicles are
Don't leave valuables on show in unattended vehicles.
Thieves look for Sat Navs and phones left behind in cars.
- Electrical items - Laptops, portable navigation units and mobile phones
- Unattended bags left in view - documents such as disabled badges
- Number plates
- Alloy wheels
- Catalytic converters (part of the exhaust system)
Bike, moped and motorcycle theft also continue to rise. Greenwich Police recommend owners to use locks such as ‘Gold Sold Secure’ and a high quality D-lock to prevent theft.
Out and about
- Lock your bike in a well-lit public area wherever possible - plenty of people around is the best theft-deterrent.
Lock your bike to an immovable object
- For top security, use two locks of different types, for instance a D lock round the rear wheel and frame and a cable lock round the front wheel and frame. This means a thief will need to have the tools to break two different types of locks and twice as much time and determination.
- Make sure that you lock your bike to an immovable object. If you lock up on a rotten fence post, a thief won't even need any specialist tools to break your bike free.
- Use a lock that reflects the value of your bike. A thief might pass by a very old or cheap bike secured with a skinny cable lock, but the same lock on a carbon race bike will be too tempting for a thief to ignore.
- Keep your bike out of sight. If you can't bring it into the house, put it in a shed or garage. Failing that, even a cover will provide some camouflage, as well as weather protection.
- As well as locking the shed or garage, you should also lock your bike within the shed or garage. Consider installing a ground anchor for this.
- Heavy duty chain locks are good for locking at home. They are a visible deterrent and hard to break. Just make sure the padlock is as tough as the chain.
If your bike does get stolen, security markings will help the police to get it back to you. Bikes can be security marked and registered at bikeregister.com.
For further information and preventive tips please visit the Vehicle Crime page on the Metropolitan Police website.