Theft prevention tips for drivers and managers
We’ve compiled the following security tips and advice, which will hopefully act as a useful memory-jogger…
Top 10 tips for drivers
- Remove keys and lock vehicle doors whenever vehicle is left unattended, even for a second. This includes when paying for fuel, buying a paper, making a delivery or receiving instructions
- Drive with the doors locked in order to deter thieves who may try to enter the vehicle when it is stationary. If anti-theft systems are fitted, make sure they’re working and use them
- Park overnight at approved locations if possible, and avoid dark, isolated places. Try to park in a way that prevents access to the rear doors
- If you’re asked to re-deliver to a new address, always check with your traffic office first and wait for confirmation before moving on. Really important, this one
- Try to travel in convoy with other trusted drivers when delivering high value or vulnerable loads. Be aware of bogus officials (who could be wearing stolen uniforms) or distractions: drivers may be alerted or stopped by 'other drivers' for supposed punctures, accidents, rear shutter insecure or door open, someone seeking help/directions etc
- In conjunction with the above point, we recommend using a Vulnerable Load Card to discourage opportunist bogus thieves. (The card is kept in the driver's cab and states that the driver is instructed not to open his door but is prepared to follow an officer to the police station to do so - it won't stop the professional gang but might deter the opportunist)
- Keep documentation about your load safely tucked out of sight. Don't talk to others about what you're doing, where you're going or what you're carrying
- If you realise a theft from your vehicle is going on, don't leave the safety of your cab. Lock the doors, start the engine, switch on the lights and if necessary sound the horn to attract attention
- When returning to an unattended vehicle, always check for signs of tampering with doors, seals, straps or sheets
- Most thefts are opportunistic and not carefully planned - keep alert
Advice for managers
Theft prevention is mostly common sense
Make sure your company's theft prevention policy covers 'in the warehouse', 'in the yard' and 'on the road'.
Careful recruitment is vital
Collusion between your existing staff and new employees is a major source of theft, according to police. Good interview questions include ‘Why do you want the job?’, ‘Are friends or family already working here?’, ‘Do you have any court cases pending?’, and ‘Why is there a gap in your career history? (Anything from three months upwards may be at Her Majesty's pleasure!). Ask plenty of tricky questions.
Watch busy times of the year
During busy periods, drivers may be put on additional routes, warehouse staff may be roped in as temporary drivers and agency staff recruited. All these situations can create weaknesses in your company's security procedures, so be extra alert for anything unusual.
Find out more about road freight security and industry security groups.