Responding to increased van theft incidents

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has advised van owners and fleet managers to ensure their vehicles are fitted with the latest anti-theft devices, following an increased number of thefts.

A total of 32,056 vans have been stolen over the last four years with almost 10,000 thefts recorded across the UK in the last year alone, according to official police statistics.

The 2018/19 figures represented a year-on-year rise of 4% and a 45% increase since 2015/16.

The biggest yearly increase in thefts was reported in Leicestershire with 10 times more vans stolen in 2018/19 than records for the year before. Van thefts in North Wales doubled while West Yorkshire police records show a 67% rise. West Yorkshire was the second highest overall, with 931 thefts, followed by the West Midlands, 409, Essex, 387, and Leicestershire.

As part of the business pack available across its range of Caddy, Transporter and Crafter, an anti-theft alarm system can be specified with interior monitoring, a back-up horn and tow-away protection.

David Hanna, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles head of service and parts operations, said: “Our most recent findings are concerning as it reveals that the problem of van theft is getting worse rather than better – and it’s a problem right across the country. Vans are the lifeblood of so many businesses up and down the country and it’s not only the emotional stress of replacing the vehicle but also the days and weeks of letting customers down and the cost of replacing tools, often worth thousands of pounds, before you can get back to ‘business as usual’.

“Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is committed to supporting our customers wherever possible and that includes preventing them from becoming victims of van theft. We strongly advise not to leave tools in the vehicle overnight and we’re also supporting our customers with offers on the latest anti-theft devices to help give them piece of mind.”

Top tips to secure your van:

–             Park in well-lit areas or car parks with CCTV or alternatively position your van so that the doors are blocked by another vehicle or object

–             Window guards or full internal bulkheads can stop would-be thieves seeing inside

–             Adding security film to the side or back window glass can stop criminals smashing it

–             Fitting additional locks to rear and sliding doors can help deter thieves

–             Invest in lockable internal racking or secure storage boxes for your most valuable tools

–             Fitting a tracker can help police hunt down the van if it is stolen plus it may reduce your insurance premium