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Car crime

Gateshead Council is committed to reducing car crime. The car parks subject to charges are all regularly patrolled during the day and early evening. Please help by remembering to:

  • Lock all doors
  • Close all windows and lock boot lids
  • Remove all valuables from view
  • Use a security device
  • Have the vehicle registration number etched on all windows

Look after your keys

Car thieves are increasingly turning to new methods of car crime, particularly "key crime". This means stealing the keys to the car first, rather than having to break in and then start the car manually.

Make sure your keys are kept in a secure place at home and at work. Burglars have been known to break into houses and offices just to steal car keys.

And at home, don't be in the habit of leaving your car keys close to the front door where they can be seen. This might make life easier for you, but it's also very handy for a car thief.

Never leave the keys in your car even for a second. This is especially important when loading or unloading your car, or at petrol stations.

Look after your car keys the same as you would your other personal possession such as cash or credit cards. Even if you are just taking shopping from the boot of your car into the house, NEVER leave your keys in the car.

A thief will take any opportunity that you give them.

A study by the Metropolitan Police revealed that the majority of car key crime occurs when people are loading or unloading their cars, and the thefts of car keys from houses accounted for 29% of cases.

Always be extra careful when filling up your car with petrol, as recent studies have shown that crime on petrol forecourts, including theft and assaults, is rising. The RAC Foundation says there are some simple measures that a driver can take to help minimise opportunities for the criminal:

  • Always lock the car when you leave it at the pump to pay for fuel
  • Try not to leave young children in an unattended vehicle while you are in the shop
  • Always take the car key with you - it's surprising how many people don't
  • Never leave any valuables on display while you pay

Look after your belongings

  • Any valuable possessions you leave in your car are at risk from being stolen.
  • Never give a thief a reason to break in and steal your belongings - they will take any opportunity you give them.
  • Apart from car stereos, the most common items stolen from a car are clothes. In addition, CDs and tapes, tools, laptop computers, mobile phones, bags, briefcases, sunglasses and credit cards are all frequently stolen, and the reason these items are taken is usually because they are left in plain view for all to see.

If you don't hide things away in your car, you're tempting a thief to break in, so never leave anything on view.

Although stereos remain the most frequently stolen items, even shopping bags, cigarettes and loose change can encourage a break-in. As you can't hide your stereo out of sight, here are some tips to prevent it getting stolen:

  • Many modern in-car entertainment systems have security built in, for example removable faces on the stereo itself. If yours has this feature, use it. Remove the face and take it with you, even if you're leaving your car for just a short time.
  • Another modern feature is a built-in security code. If the stereo is removed and fitted to another car the code is needed or it won't work. Keep the note of your code number somewhere safe in your house and never anywhere inside your car. Also keep a note of the serial number of the stereo somewhere safe in your home.

Fit a car security device such as an immobiliser and choose a good place to park to reduce the chances of someone breaking in to your car. And finally, don't forget to close windows, sunroofs and lock doors and NEVER leave children or pets alone in your vehicle.

Contact us

Parking Services
Gateshead Council
Civic Centre
Regent Street
Gateshead
NE8 1HH

Phone: 0191 433 3155
parkingandregulation@gateshead.gov.uk

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