Don't take chances with car crime
Simon Elstow, head of training, said: 'It seems obvious, but we'd still remind drivers, where possible, to park in a well lit, busy area with valuables out of view – and make sure your car has both an alarm and an immobiliser.'
He added: 'Never underestimate the determination of some thieves: don't leave your car keys in a bowl or on a rack by the door – one of the most common methods of stealing a car is using a pole to reach through the letterbox to get the keys.
'If you have a garage, now's the time to clear out the ski boots and rolls of old carpet and make way for the thing it was built for – your car – although cars have got bigger over the years, meaning most of us have to park outside which affects both road safety and car security.'
Other advice to drivers includes:
• Try to use a car park with the "ParkMark" logo which means it has achieved basic standards of security – but remember that you have no consumer rights in a car park and the car park operator has no legal responsibility whatsoever to protect your car.
• Thieves will break into homes to get the keys to steal a car. If your car is high value, check the security of your home.
• Don't leave the keys in the ignition when filling up your car with fuel or warming it up – remember your insurance could be invalidated if you do and your car is stolen.
• Don't leave a satnav fitting on display, and rub off any ring left on the windscreen by the suction pad – a thief will smash the window and go straight to the glove compartment to find it.
• Never store your car's documents within it and keep the glove box empty, leaving it open to make it clear there isn't anything inside.
• Consider fitting a vehicle tracking device to help track and find your car if it gets stolen.