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Keyless vehicle crime under the spotlight

Nov 28th, 2018

It isn't just the insurance industry that are on alert regarding the growing problem of keyless vehicle crime. The motor and security sectors have published articles about the worrying trend, as have the police and various media sources. 

According to figures released here by the Association of British Insurers, in the first nine months of this year the cost of motor theft claims rose to £271 million, an increase of 32% on the same period last year. The number of claims settled was 41,000 rising 11% on last year. The increase is widely thought to be blamed on the surge in keyless vehicle crime. 

Unfortunately, as technology develops, so do the techniques of tech-savvy thieves. They are learning how to hack the latest security systems, which is becoming an increasing danger for drivers of keyless cars. According to a recent report here from the security organisation TRACKER, motorists are advised to increase their level of car security, as 80% of all vehicles stolen and recovered by TRACKER in 2017 were stolen without using the owner’s keys.

A few months ago BBC regional news reported here that vehicle theft has seen a 50% rise across the East of England in the last five years. Their report states that since 2013, vehicle theft has risen by 70% in Hertfordshire, 57% in Essex, 49% in Cambridgeshire, 35% in Norfolk, 32% in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, and 5% in Suffolk. Interestingly, a security expert has a video linked from this report illustrating some useful tips that may help to reduce the risk of your vehicle being stolen.

Just last month Cambridgeshire Police released an article here on the eCops website highlighting a spike in keyless entry thefts in the Peterborough area. Their message alert includes the following tips for drivers of keyless vehicles:

◦ Contact your dealer and talk about the digital features in your car. Have there been any software updates you can take advantage of?
◦ Check if your keyless entry fob can be turned off, if it can, your dealer can also confirm this, then do so overnight.
◦ Store your keys away from household entry points such as your front or back doors and windows and consider using a signal blocker pouch to store your keys. Keeping your keyless entry fob out of sight is not enough, thieves only need to get near to the key to amplify the signal.

◦ If you park your vehicle on your driveway then we advise in investing in a driveway alarm, these are very easy to use and do not require any DIY skills to install.

◦ Be vigilant. Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood and report any unusual activity to the police on line at www.cambs.police.uk/report or call 101 (or 999 in an emergency)

◦ Review your car security. Check for aftermarket security devices such as mechanical locks and trackers, which are proven to deter thieves.

As you can see, there are various sources of advice available for measures that may act as a deterrent to this type of crime. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding your insurance arrangements and this particular topic.

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