Van fleet security specialist, HH Driveright, is warning van fleet operators that van theft is for life and not just Christmas and that complacency and laziness are the two deadly sins that could catch van drivers out.
The award-winning Yorkshire-based security specialist says vans are stolen, like clockwork, every single day of the year, with the RAC putting van theft figures at over 30 a day, even before the cost of living crisis and the pandemic boom in courier deliveries.
It is also urging van fleet operators to note some of the latest theft intelligence which highlights how criminals target the ‘lazy’ driver.
Whilst it may be tempting to think the van theft peak has passed, with both Black Friday and Christmas over, Britain has not had an economic crisis like the present one for many years.
Many police forces warned of van theft criminals being at work pre-Christmas. Whilst goods may have been a major target then, the attractiveness of stealing the van will now be a very real threat to operators.
Meanwhile, a criminologist from the University of Huddersfield, former chief inspector Kevin Floyd, has interviewed car thieves in prison and discovered that many target ‘lazy’ motorists, who do not lock their cars.[i] They ascertained whether or not a vehicle was locked, by looking for cars whose wing mirrors automatically fold back when locked. If they noted that they were not folded back, they realised the car was not locked.
This intelligence highlights how criminals seize the easiest route to vehicle theft – negligence on the part of the driver in not locking their vehicle. The same trend is evident in van theft, with criminals and opportunistic thieves noting when a van is left unlocked, by watching driver behaviour on exiting it or seeing that an engine is running.
With the keys inside, it can take less than 20 seconds to steal an unlocked van and such vulnerable vehicles are thieves’ number one target. No crowbars and night-time manoeuvres are required. It’s even easier than trying to start an unlocked car without the keys.
Any van driver, whether a courier or a tradesperson, can avoid a scenario in which their laziness catches them out, by fitting the unique HH Driveright GM2020. This will automatically immobilise the van after 10 seconds, if the van is left unlocked. If the vehicle is compatible, it will also lock the doors. There is no way a thief can drive off with the van.
If the device is not set to auto-immobilisation, it can be immobilised remotely. That means the van will be immobilised when the thief exits the vehicle – something they will not expect to happen. The in-built tracking technology of the GM2020 will highlight exactly where the vehicle is located. All it takes is a call to the control centre to make this immobilisation happen.
The van can be re-mobilised within less than a minute, once the driver confirms all is well.
HH Driveright’s managing director, Rebecca Hall, says, “Complacency and laziness underpin much of the van theft we see. Our figures show that 80% of van drivers do not automatically lock their van, so all a criminal need do is wait for a courier somewhere along their route, watch them exit to make a delivery and strike.
“For the cost of fitting a GM2020, it is just not worth any delivery company or van owner taking the risk of having their vehicle stolen, especially as an insurance payout would be highly unlikely, if the vehicle had been left unlocked.”
To find out more, call HH Driveright on 01937 830144