As winter starts to take hold and the nights get darker, crime will start to increase. This is a particular issue for van drivers, whose potential valuable assets make their vehicles a prime target for break ins and theft. On average, 30 vans are stolen every day and those figures are only increasing.
To combat this, you need to be aware of what you can do to keep your van and your tools as safe as possible. This means behavioural changes as well as potentially making some investments into gear and security measures that will save you money and time in the long run.
We have decided to put together a list of things you can look towards doing that should help reduce your risk while not impacting your livelihood or any major changes to how you conduct your business. After all, time is money.
Make sure your security is up to date. With most modern vans, alarms and immobilisers come as standard, though it’s always worth checking as some do not. You should also check these systems are at least category 2. However, if you are working from an older van, make sure you have an alarm installed and that it is enabled and that the locks are secure. You may also want to look towards a GPS tracking system for your vehicle. While expensive, they could end up saving you more than they cost if the unfortunate does happen.
Strongboxes. When on the job, strongboxes are a really useful resource. They keep your tools secure and remove the chance of a ‘snatch and grab’ from opportunists if you forget to fully lock your van while on a job. The main downside to them is that weight though, meaning that they add to your payload weight so if you routinely carry heavy tools or materials, it’s something you need to be aware of. If you are looking for a recommendation, the armorgard oxbox provides a sturdy and secure storage solution.
Don’t leave valuables in or visible in your van. Always remember that most theft is opportunistic in nature so do not make it easy or obvious. Hide important items from view when at work and take them from the van when you head home. With vans always being a prime target for thieves, try and reduce the chances where possible.
Park with theft in mind. While finding a parking spot is usually a problem when on the job, try and think about how visible and easy to access your van is. If your van is on a busy street with good lighting, it’s less likely to be a target as any strange behaviour would be more likely to draw attention. Be aware of CCTV car parks as well as these are far more secure than a street.
CCTV. Or better yet, get CCTV installed in your vehicle. Now, these are expensive extras and it will obviously be up to you if it’s worth the investment but if you handle a lot of valuable goods for your business, it may prove essential as a deterrent and potentially as evidence. If you’re looking for an effective solution, may we recommend the black eye 360? This camera system provides a 360 image which removes vehicle blind spots, making it an ideal and compact solution.
There are a few tips to bear in mind when out on shift or when locking up for the night. Theft will cost you time and money so making the necessary precautions, while potentially costly and time consuming now, will help save you money in the long run. Be safe and secure out there.