Car crime remains a prevalent concern in many cities worldwide, and Manchester here in the UK, is no exception.

Following on from a recent blog (linked here) in which we looked at three car crime hotspots in the UK and how they impact those who live and work there, we wanted to delve into those areas in more detail, starting with Manchester.

Despite advancements in vehicle security technology, symbolised by the amazing trackers we sell, criminals continuously adapt their methods to exploit vulnerabilities. It’s a never-ending game of cat-and-mouse and never more prevalent than in large cities like Greater Manchester.

This area and the police force that covers it, are not just limited to the city centre; it also covers large towns like Bolton, Stockport and Rochdale, along with several surrounding smaller suburbs and villages.

The worst district, at least by postcode, is M2 but this includes shopping areas, the Manchester Central Convention Complex (formerly known as the GMEX) and hotel districts, with theft from a motor vehicle representing half of all offences committed here.

As would might expect, car crime drops considerably as you move away from the city centre into the suburbs, with cars parked in the M1 postcode being almost twice as safe as those parked in the city centre but still at a high risk. You’d have to be in M33 to tangibly limit your risk.

Whilst it might seem counter-intuitive, these stats confirm the notion that criminals always prefer the anonymity of bustling shopping districts compared to the quieter suburbs where they might be more noticeable. Hiding in plain sight you might say.

In this article, we delve into the current landscape of car crime in Manchester, exploring recent statistics, common theft techniques employed by thieves and, more importantly, effective preventive measures.

Understanding the Scope

According to recent reports by Greater Manchester Police (GMP), car crime remains a significant issue in the region. Moreover, incidents such as vandalism, break-ins and theft from vehicles contribute to the overall concern regarding vehicle security.

As we’ve previously shown, the city of Manchester has one of the highest rates of car crime in the UK (per 10,000 registered vehicles). In real terms, this means that 3 out of every 10 vehicles are subjected to some form of attack. Hopefully, you’re not one of them.

Methods Employed by Car Thieves

Car thieves employ various tactics ranging from traditional low-fi methods to far more sophisticated techniques. Some of the common strategies include:

Keyless Entry Theft: With the rise of keyless entry systems in almost all modern cars, criminals have adapted by using relay devices to intercept the signals between key fobs and vehicles. By amplifying the key’s signal, thieves can unlock and start vehicles without needing physical access to the keys themselves. You might think they’re safe in your house or bag, but think again.

Jamming Signals: Thieves can also use signal jamming devices to disrupt remote locking systems, preventing owners from properly securing their vehicles. This technique is often employed in crowded areas such as parking lots, where owners may not even notice the failed locking signal.

Lock Picking and Key Cloning: Traditional methods like lock picking and key cloning are still prevalent, especially among more opportunistic thieves. By gaining physical access to the vehicle, criminals can bypass security systems and create duplicates of keys for future thefts.

Towing: Old school for sure, but in some cases, thieves still resort to towing vehicles away to secluded locations where they can dismantle or sell them for parts. Something much more common in larger cities with a steady supply of victims. This method is more common for larger vehicles or those parked in isolated areas. Don’t think that just because you don’t have a luxury or high-end car you’re safe. Thieves looking to steal cars for parts focus on the more ‘everyday’ car because they know the supply for parts is much larger.

Preventive Measures: Safeguarding Your Vehicle

While car crime hotspots like Manchester pose a persistent threat, there are several proactive measures you can take to minimise the risk of theft:

Invest in Security Technology: Consider installing additional security features such as steering wheel locks, wheel clamps, and immobilisers to deter thieves. High-quality alarm systems with motion sensors and GPS tracking capabilities can also help in recovering stolen vehicles. We have a wide range of these right here in our store.

Secure Parking: Where possible, park your vehicle in well-lit, populated areas. Utilise secure parking facilities with CCTV surveillance and manned patrols to reduce the likelihood of theft.

Key Management: Be vigilant with your key fob and avoid leaving it unattended or visible near entry points. Store keys in a secure location within your home to prevent unauthorised access.

Signal Blocking Devices: To combat relay attacks, consider using signal-blocking pouches (like a Faraday case) or cases to shield key fobs from potential interception. These inexpensive accessories can effectively prevent unauthorised access to your vehicle’s entry system.

Regular Maintenance: Keep your vehicle well-maintained to ensure all security features are functioning correctly. Check for any signs of tampering or attempted theft, such as scratches around the locks or dashboard.

Community Vigilance: Stay informed about car crime trends in your area, no matter where you live, and communicate with neighbours to share information and raise awareness. Reporting suspicious activities to the authorities can help prevent future incidents.

Insurance Coverage: Review your insurance policy to ensure adequate coverage against theft and vandalism. Consider adding comprehensive coverage to protect your vehicle in case of theft or damage. We have a range of insurance-approved trackers right here.

There’s no denying that car crime remains a significant concern for motorists in Manchester and across the UK with thieves employing various tactics to steal your vehicles but by understanding the current landscape of car crime and implementing preventive measures, we can help you effectively safeguard your vehicles against theft and vandalism.

By investing in security technology like the incredible trackers in our store, but also practising good key management and staying vigilant, we can all reduce the risk of falling victim to car crime and enjoy peace of mind on the roads of Manchester and further afield.

If you need any help with choosing the right tracker for your car, van, motorbike, motorhome or trailer, please get in touch with our dedicated Customer Support team. They are available between 9 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday, on 0330 043 3993 and will be more than happy to assist you no matter where you live. Remember, UK-wide installations is available at a time and place to suit you.

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