In this blog, we provide on overview of a report commissioned by Logistics UK looking at Van Security.
Vans play a key and vital role in our economy, and Logistics UK has always recognised the value and increasing importance these vehicles have for our sector, particularly now as the number and proportion of vans making up urban and rural logistics activity continues to grow. Logistics UK is one of the biggest business groups in the UK, supporting, shaping and standing up for efficient logistics.
What is the scale of van crime in the UK?
The total number of recorded incidents of van content thefts (from the police forces able to provide data) reached its peak in 2018, at 31,892, before dropping to 28,717 in 2019. However, the data shows the average was highest in 2017, and has dropped more than a third between then and 2019.
Although van crime is still an issue, a decline in the number of occurrences of these crimes can be represented above. A key contributor for this would be increased security from factory fitted / after market products such as passive products (locks etc) or active products (trackers, alarms, immobilisers).
Where does van crime occur?
From August to September 2020, Logistics UK invited van users and operators to take part in its Van Security Survey. The questions asked respondents about their experiences around van crime, from the frequency and location of thefts, to the impact of thefts on their staff and business and any resulting steps taken to mitigate van crime.
47.8% of those surveyed said van thefts were from a driver’s home driveway.
To give an opinion on this statistic, it is likely this is due to the person committing the crime having access to the vehicle keys. Either from the keys being left easily accessible (near doors windows) or by breaking into the home to access keys.
Another method which is becoming more common amongst the 'high tech' criminals is the use of key cloning devices / signal boosters to take the signal from the remote key near the home and boost it to a receiver near the van allowing it to be opened and started.
A van was more likely to be broken into for its contents when parked on a street (38.2% of thefts occurred when the vehicle was parked at the driver’s on-street parking and 32.4% when kerbside).
Vans often contain a wide range of high value tools that can easily be sold on which makes them very appealing to Thieves.
The nature of the tools being portable e.g. cordless power tools, makes them easy to steal quickly without being noticed. Even in well lit streets, covered by CCTV your van may still not be secure against bold nature of thieves operating today. The thieves who are breaking into multiple vans per day are well prepared! - False number plates, operating in stolen cars with covered faces make them hard to track down. Once the contents of the van is gone it can be extremely hard to track down.
The answer? Be proactive in your security and do everything you can in lead up to a possible break in to stop it!
What items were stolen?
It's no surprise that tools comes out on top being stolen in 66.7% of break ins. However it's easy to see that no contents is safe from these types of crimes.
Personal items at 41.7% can be devastating for any driver!
What is the impact on businesses and drivers?
The impact of van theft reaches beyond the initial value of the stolen vehicle and its contents. Businesses have to spend additional time and money sourcing replacement vehicles or equipment, repairing damage and filling out police reports and insurance claims, as well as incurring the loss of business and potential reputational damage from work that will have to be postponed or cancelled.
In 2019 a total of 8,072 vans where reported stolen and 28,717 content thefts were reported to the police.
What can you do to reduce vehicle or content theft?
As I tell all my customers, there's no definitive answer to this question and there is a lot of variables. The bottom line is, if they want it that bad they could get it! An extreme example, but nothing is stopping them towing your van onto the back of a low loader and driving off. I know this is extremely unlikely but as I say a possibility.
Different vans have different vulnerabilities and knowing these can help you to protect them. We work on all vans on the road and can advise you on the products for your van.
Take into account the type of van and your budget when looking at what security you need. The list isn't exhaustive but there is a wide range of products available.
Shielding (to protect Vulnerable points of the van that can be drilled to access internal latches and locks)
Loom Guards (to protect wiring often cut to access doors)
Anti Peel brackets (to stop peeling down doors a common attack)
OBD Port Locks (Vehicles can be started via accessible OBD port in certain circumstances)
Alarms (With load area sensors and sensors on doors which activate it prised open)
Make it hard to access, make it loud to gain entry, make it take a long time. Don't make it easy, thieves want easy hits!
Logistics UK Van Security Report Produced by Logistics UK Policy