EU legislation made the fitting of an electronic engine immobiliser (Thatcham Category 2), mandatory on cars manufactured after October 1998 (designed to prevent an engine from being hot-wired). While this has been widely regarded as effective, evidence suggests that some criminals are now concentrating on taking these vehicles by stealing the keys instead.

For vehicles registered after 1997, keys were used in 85% of car thefts. The most common methods of obtaining keys were through burglary (37%) and through the owner leaving the keys in the car (18%). There is some evidence of an increasing trend in keys being used to steal cars and, in particular, for these keys to be obtained by committing a burglary.

In cases where the MO was known, this occurred in 34% of incidents in the first half of 1998 and had risen to around 44% in the first half of2001.

There has also been a rise in the proportion of key thefts during robberies, almost doubling from around 2% to nearly 4% over these three years. Although these numbers are very small, this could be evidence of a trend towards more concerted attempts to steal vehicles.

“Car-jacking”, where a thief targets a motorist in their vehicle, is the latest trend in car crime. A number of high profile cases have taken place, most notably the stabbing to death of 25 year old man outside his home by a suspected gang of car-jackers.

Car-jacking attacks are now taking place in such areas of the country as Salford, Bradford, the West Midlands, West Yorkshire and London. While car-jacking is a relatively new phenomena in the UK, it is far from new in other parts of the World. The first car-jacking case is reported to have taken place in South Africa in the mid-1970s

In fact, it has become such a worry in Bradford, with five reported car-jacking’s and four attempts in January alone, that the police in West Yorkshire have set up a special squad to deal with it. Many police forces have set up monthly meetings to gain intelligence on the gangs involved.

A common tactic used by car-jacking gangs is to bump into the targeted vehicle and ambush them when the driver approaches to exchange personal details. A recent example was the case involving a 41 year old mother of three, who was knocked unconscious by a gang of thieves who stole her vehicle in South London.

Installing a tracking system, more importantly a GPS tracking system, can ensure that your tracking systems monitoring station, will be instantly alerted should your vehicle be taken without the keys; and for key theft or car-jacking, can be notified as soon as the theft becomes aparrent.

The monitoring station liaise with the police to provide a constant speed and location. This avoids the need for high-speed chases, thus eliminating the risk of damage and almost always ensures the vehicles safe return in just a matter of hours.

To date, the most effective product to appear onto the UK tracking market is Trackstar!

How do you install a tracking
system? Click Here

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