According to recent research into car vandalism around 25% of motorists have had their vehicle vandalised within the last year. Returning to your car to find it has been keyed, the aerial has been snapped off or, that the window or the lights have been smashed can be a very annoying and upsetting experience.
Added to this is the stress and cost of getting the damage repaired. If your car is covered by a comprehensive car insurance policy vandalism cover may be covered. A third party, fire and theft policy will leave you having to meet the cost of the damage.
The research into car vandalism also highlighted the fact that more than half of all motorists who had experienced car vandalism did not report the crime to the police as they felt the authorities would not act.
Even if you have doubts about the Police’s ability to catch the vandals, you will need a crime reference number to make a claim on your car insurance policy, so make sure you report any incidents as soon as possible.
There are, of course, some basic precautions to take to help avoid your car being vandalised. Simple procedures, such as using your garage or driveway, if you have one, and always trying to park in well-lit areas, make a big difference. In addition, you should make sure any car parks you use have good lighting and are well supervised. Look for a car park that is part of the Police approved Safer Parking Scheme and displays the associated Park Mark symbol. Some car parks also have 'Secure Car Park' accreditation, so look for the sign.
Another good thing to do is to tuck in wing mirrors and put the aerial down to avoid attracting opportunistic, mindless vandalism.
As well as these simple precautions, an effective way to reduce vandalism in your area is to join a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.Over 165,000 schemes are now established throughout the UK, covering up to 25% of all households, making it the largest voluntary organisation in the UK.
If there is no Neighbourhood Watch established on your street, then why not set one up? Contact the NNWA who will help you. A Neighbourhood Watch scheme creates a partnership between the local community, the Police and the Local Authority, which can lead to improved anti-vandalism measures being taken, such as installing better street lighting, or increased Police patrols if needed.
A Neighbourhood Watch scheme also encourages people in the area to report crimes if they witness them, leading to higher conviction rates and providing a better deterrent. By taking these precautionary measures, you could reduce the risk of your car being vandalised.
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