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Personal Security When Parking a Car

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With many types of criminality on the rise in the UK, it isn’t always easy to park your car in a spot where you feel comfortable leaving it for an extended period. Women in particular will naturally have some concerns for their personal safety when parking at night in quiet or poorly-lit places.

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“Parking is something which most of us have to do on a very regular basis, but some locations are definitely safer than others” says our MD, Neil Barham. “We would like to offer some advice about the steps you can take when parking your car to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime.”

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Always Be Vigilant

Multi-storey car parks can often feel like threatening places, even in the daytime. If you’re returning to your car after a visit to a shopping-centre, you are at your most vulnerable, and the potential, although small, exists for attacks, muggings and other crimes. These can happen not just in multi-storey car parks of course, but in lots of other parking locations as well. There may be CCTV operating, but this is not always an effective deterrent against criminal behaviour – it’s hard to identify people when they’re wearing hoodies.

Whenever you park in a car park you need to be vigilant and aware of what’s happening around you. Concentrating deeply on your mobile phone screen as you walk through a car park is not recommended.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”black”][vc_single_image image=”2234″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1676882265714{margin-top: 35px !important;margin-bottom: 10px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”dannews”]

Think About Where You Park

Most would agree that the best parking spots are those which are well-lit and visible. If you can, try to park near doors or lifts. This will reduce the chances that your vehicle will be targeted by thieves. It’s easier said than done, of course, as everyone prefers to park in these spots. If possible, park in car parks which have attained the Park Mark standard. These car parks have passed a Police risk assessment.

If you’re parking on a street at night, try and park under a lamp or a streetlight. If you park in the same location every day, it’s best not to park in the exact same spot every day as this can make your vehicle more vulnerable to the risk of theft. Somewhat counterintuitively, parking on busy roads can actually be better than parking on quiet ones – although there’s a higher chance of your vehicle being damaged, statistically speaking cars are more likely to be stolen from quiet, dimly-lit roads.

When you park on a road, it’s a good idea to turn your wheels into the kerb. This means that anyone trying to steal your car will have to make more manoeuvres to get away. This advice comes from an ex car thief!
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Leaving Your Vehicle

Even if you’re only parking your car for a few minutes, make sure you lock your doors and close your windows. Don’t leave valuables in your car. If you have to leave items of any value in your car, it’s always best to hide these from view by putting them in the boot or covering them from prying eyes. If you forget to lock your car and start walking away from it, some (but not all) manufacturers have apps which are able to send an alert to your phone.

Whenever you park, always make a mental note of any distinguishing features or landmarks that will help you find your vehicle quickly and easily when you return to it.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”black”][vc_column_text el_class=”dannews”]

Returning to Your Vehicle

When you return to your vehicle, be mindful of what’s going on around you. Scan the area and have your car keys ready so that you avoid scrambling to find them in your bag. As you approach it, check from a distance that you don’t have any flat tyres or broken windows, and look out for anyone loitering near your vehicle or hiding underneath it.

If anything makes you feel uncomfortable, or you notice anything suspicious, return quickly to a public place. If you can, seek out a security guard or car park management. Most buildings, shopping-centres and commercial properties employ security personnel. If it’s late at night or after business hours, don’t be shy about asking for assistance, such as requesting an escort to your vehicle.

If your car is in a very large car park, and you suddenly realise you’ve forgotten where you parked it, your iPhone, if you have one, can alert you to where it is.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”black”][vc_single_image image=”2235″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1676882297260{margin-top: 35px !important;margin-bottom: 10px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”dannews”]

Use your Phone’s SOS System

Most mobile devices have built-in emergency systems which can be very useful indeed in the event of an emergency. Make sure you familiarise yourself with yours so that if you feel threatened you can quickly use the phone to alert a family member or trusted friend as to your whereabouts. In fact Apple’s new IPhone range (14) allows you to send an SOS even when you do not have a phone signal![/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”black”][vc_single_image image=”2236″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1676882329470{margin-top: 35px !important;margin-bottom: 10px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”dannews”]

Protect Your Vehicle Against Car Thieves

There are several things you can do to make your vehicle harder to steal and less attractive to thieves. Technology can also make your car easier to find should it be stolen.

Most cars have alarm systems fitted as standard, but for extra peace of mind you may wish to go a step further and fit a steering-wheel lock to deter potential thieves. These devices are coming back into fashion as a simple mechanical way of stopping high-tech car crime such as relay theft.

Consider having your car windows etched with your vehicle’s registration number or VIN. The Police advise that this can deter criminals, as it makes it harder for them to sell on your vehicle.

Another deterrent against vehicle theft is to install a dash cam in your car which has the “intelligent parking mode” feature – your dash cam will switch itself on and start recording if it detects any physical movement of the vehicle.

If your car has a GPS tracker installed, make sure it’s turned on and working. Another step you can take is to hide an Apple Air Tag in your vehicle. Both will help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1610090770814{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-right: 20px !important;padding-left: 20px !important;background-color: rgba(255,255,255,0.75) !important;*background-color: rgb(255,255,255) !important;}”][vc_basic_grid post_type=”post” max_items=”10″ element_width=”12″ gap=”15″ item=”569″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1676894953056-67fc617b-d265-4″ css=”.vc_custom_1610442397678{margin-right: 0px !important;margin-left: 0px !important;padding-right: 0px !important;padding-left: 0px !important;}” el_class=”dangriding”][/vc_column][/vc_row]