The continuous efforts of car manufacturers, tech companies and police forces to combat vehicle theft across the UK led to a steady decline in the number of stolen vehicles between 2003 and 2014. Improvements to built-in vehicle safeguards and enhanced car security systems helped to stop criminals from breaking into and getting away with our precious vehicles. However, in 2014, a simple security oversight with the introduction of keyless entry systems – which were supposed to improve our quality of life – fuelled a drastic increase in vehicle theft throughout the UK. Criminals adapted quickly to the emerging technology, finding a simple and inexpensive way to steal vehicles with keyless entry systems in under a minute, without even needing to touch the key.

This so-called “relay theft”, in addition to the other known ways to break into vehicles, has exacerbated the situation to the worst it has been for years. Since 2014, the West Midlands has seen a shocking 214% increase in theft rates, while London remains the UK’s worst location for theft with a 61% rise in stolen vehicles. However, car owners aren’t totally helpless against these prolific thieves.

Here are some simple tips for preventing car theft:

  • Keep your vehicle locked at all times
  • Invest in effective anti-theft systems
  • Keep your keys safe, hidden away from out of sight
  • Keep your keys in a Faraday pouch overnight as a precaution against keyless theft
  • Choose safe parking locations for your vehicles, even for shortstops
  • Keep valuable items out of sight to not provoke a theft attempt

While these tips should be practiced by all drivers, a skilled auto thief can still get past these security measures and get away with your vehicle. Considering the time and money we invest in our vehicles, it’s worth investing a bit more to install a superior security system to guarantee their safety. High-end vehicle trackers accredited by Thatcham Research can protect your vehicle against even the most skilled criminals on the streets. With effective security measures against theft and a 96% stolen vehicle recovery rate, these sophisticated systems are one of the best – if not the best – vehicle security systems on the market.  

Do you really need a Thatcham Vehicle Tracking Device in the UK?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is a resounding yes. In 2017/18 alone, 112,174 vehicles were stolen in the UK, and according to the Met Police, 50% of stolen vehicles are never recovered. Unless you have a Thatcham vehicle tracker fitted in your vehicle, there’s a good chance you’ll never see your car again should you fall victim to vehicle theft. Thatcham Research Centre is the industry authority on vehicle security systems in the UK. Thatcham certifies vehicle security devices through careful analysis and a stringent testing procedure and categorizes the approved devices according to the level of security and features they offer.

Reliability and Accuracy

Thatcham tracking devices are equipped with advanced GNSS chips that utilize multiple orbital satellite networks, including GPS, Galileo, and GLONASS. The ability to pick up signals from different satellite systems improves the accuracy of Thatcham vehicle trackers, which helps immensely to locate a vehicle in an emergency situation or if targeted by theft. Even if an adept thief steals your vehicle and drives it to a remote location, your Thatcham-approved tracking device will keep broadcasting its precise location.

Driver Recognition

Vehicle owners are given two encrypted driver identification fobs as per Thatcham standards for Category S5 and S5+ tracking systems. The fobs are vital in detecting a theft attempt if a vehicle is stolen without using the keys. As soon as a vehicle’s engine is started without the tracker recognising the proper driver identification tags, an alert is issued to our monitoring centre. The teams at the monitoring centre will immediately contact you to confirm if a theft has actually occurred, and upon confirmation, our staff will contact the authorities on your behalf and facilitate the recovery of the stolen vehicle by providing real-time location updates. Driver identification has multiple uses for businesses as well; for example, the driver recognition tags can be utilized to prevent unauthorized vehicle use for companies that operate a vehicle fleet.

Remote Immobilisation

Remote immobilization is one of the most powerful security measures against vehicle theft, and especially useful when the police are in pursuit of a stolen vehicle. It allows vehicle owners and on-call teams at the monitoring center to stop a stolen vehicle’s engine remotely, rendering the car useless once it comes to a complete stop. The employees at the monitoring centre can then guide the authorities to the location of the immobilized vehicle with pinpoint accuracy for a safe and speedy recovery. Thatcham-approved tracking systems offer multiple additional layers of security – one of which is that the ignition can be turned off to prevent the vehicle from starting without authorization from the owner.

24-Hour Monitoring Centre

Thatcham-approved vehicle tracking devices are effective against all known methods of vehicle theft, including the all-too-popular relay theft, replicated car keys and the hacking of onboard computers. The 24-hour monitoring center is always on alert for any theft attempts against your vehicle, and the experienced staff on-site will immediately contact the responsible parties to confirm the threat to your vehicle and take appropriate action. 24/7 surveillance is one of the core security measures provided by Thatcham vehicle tracking systems – it ensures that one of the employees is always keeping tabs on the movements of your vehicles, and they will immediately contact you in the event of any suspicious activity.

Conclusion

Vehicle theft is one of the inevitable truths of living in the UK – your vehicle is at constant risk of being targeted by organized criminals and opportunistic thieves. Thatcham approved vehicle tracking systems are designed with the most effective security measures in mind, offering a wide range of tools that are instrumental in protecting your vehicle against theft. They integrate the powerful tools of GPS tracking technology with Thatcham security protocols to provide car owners in the UK with the highest level of security that today’s technology has to offer. With a recovery rate of close to 100%, Insurance GPS trackers are unrivalled in recovering stolen vehicles compared to other vehicle protection systems. Whether you have a high-end performance vehicle or own a vehicle fleet, Thatcham vehicle tracking systems are the best solution on the market against the experienced car thieves roaming the streets of the UK.

Posted by Miley Dowling

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