Articles

Page 1. Car Security – Suggested Precautions
Page 2. Nuisance Calls – How to stop them
Page 3. Home Security – While away on holiday

Car Security – Suggested Precautions:
Those of you who receive the weekly Shirley South Ward – Newsletter from PCSO David Thompson, will have noticed that each week they regularly include car crime incidents, which over the last twelve months has been the third most reported crime in Shirley South with 128 reported incidents between March 2021 – February 2022.

There are of course some simple basic checks to help secure your vehicle, such as ensuring it is securely locked before walking away by giving the handle a pull just to make sure and not to leave

 any valuables on display in the car as this may attract the unwanted attention of an opportunist thief to break in. Even if there are no valuables in the car, make sure that any bags or coats are out of sight in the boot as this could be mistaken for them concealing valuables.

For security reasons, especially in the case of identity theft and fraud, it is advisable not to keep your car insurance certificate, V5C vehicle log book or any documents with your name and address on in the vehicle in case it is broken into or stolen. 

When parking on a driveway there are a few security options you could consider, such as a steering wheel lock, installing a security video camera or video doorbell, padlocked security post or a PIR driveway security light or use 

When it comes to keyless cars they can be vulnerable to thieves who walk around the external walls and doors of a house with a signal scanner and transmitter hoping to detect a signal from a keyless car key. If successful the signal is then sent to an accomplice who would be standing by the car they intend to steal, with a receiver that picks up the signal allowing them to open the car door and start the engine as though they had the physical key.

Additional precautions for keyless cars, include using a steering wheel or pedal lock, keeping the keyless key well aways from external walls and doors which will make it harder for a scanner to pickup a signal or to purchase a faraday pouch or box which blocks the keyless key signal.

Another car security option to consider, especially If you are looking to purchase or upgrade your dashboard camera, is to consider a model which has a ‘Parking Mode’. This feature switches on automatically when the vehicle is parked with the ignition turned off while allowing the dashboard camera(s) to continue  monitoring your vehicle and start recording if the camera lens senses physical movement or an impact and then stores these recorded events to view later or as with some models you can be alerted of the incident in real time via an associated app.

In the case of number plate theft it is not only inconvenient but can also be expensive if as a result you start getting parking or speeding fines. One low cost way to quickly make your number plates more secure is to use security screws or a product such as Richbrook anti-theft number plate bolts.

With the continued reports of catalytic converter thefts in Shirley and the surrounding areas, it may help to try and park alongside a fence or wall or in such a way as to make access to the catalytic converter more difficult. Other options include having your vehicle serial number etched on the converter or forensically marked and a sticker displayed in the windscreen to say this has been done, invest in a device such as the Catloc or CatClamp which provide a protective cover for the catalytic converter or having it welded to the car.

A Word of Warning: Following a recent incident where a local resident was violently assaulted and hospitalised after he approached and challenged men who were stealing catalytic converters, police are advising the public not to approach or confront the thieves and to ring 999 immediately and if possible obtain their car registration number and only if safe to do so try and take a picture of the suspects and their car. 

Hopefully, with a few basic checks and some additional precautions we can reduce the number of car crimes taking place in Shirley, and if anyone would like to receive the weekly Shirley South newsletter, please email David.Thompson@met.police.uk, with your name, address and confirm you would like to be included in the weekly Newsletter’, distribution list.