Car vandalism up 11% in Kent – here’s how to protect your business fleet

According to police data, the number of reported car vandalism cases has risen by 11% over the past three years in Kent.

What’s that in figures?

Over 210,000 vehicles suffered criminal damage in 2016, ranging from smashed windows to slashed tyres, compared to 191,000 in 2013.

These statistics don’t include the vast number of motorists who choose not to report vandalism incidents for fear it will negatively affect their insurance premium, preferring to cover repair costs themselves.

Which areas have been the worst hit for car crime in Kent?

There was a staggering 490 car crimes reported in Gravesend so far this year, followed by 261 and 229 in Margate and Ramsgate respectively.

Dartford is 4th on the list with 225 reports and includes reports of theft, arson or criminal damage (KentLive, 2017).

How can I protect my vehicles?

  1. Store vehicles inside… or in the light
    Making vehicles hard to reach is the most obvious deterrent to thieves – car ports, garages, and lock-ups are safer than the street. However, if your vehicles are kept on streets, ignore your instincts to keep them in the dark. Parking under street lights or within the light of buildings means a higher chance of potential thieves being spotted, often helping put them off.
  2. Motion-activated alarm systems
    It can be a case of “spend to save” when it comes to vehicle security. Offering more protection than standard alarms, motion activated alarms are designed to sound if something more than wind moves the vehicle.
  3. Do what the sticker tells you
    The omnipresent “No tools left in this vehicle overnight” bumper sticker is there for a reason. From tools, stock, materials and business equipment to personal belongings, if your vans or cars make their way home with a member of staff each night, remind drivers not to leave anything in their vehicle overnight.
  4. Be vigilant at all times
    Though car vandalism is likely to take place when you vehicle is unattended, remember that’s not just overnight. Smash and grab thieves may well target fleet vehicles when the driver is distracted making a delivery, picking up cargo or attending a meeting at a business. Make sure doors and windows are closed and locked, and be mindful of where you park even in the middle of business.

If you would like to discuss fleet Insurance policy for your business, get in touch with the experienced team at Safeguard today.