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.
Try to travel in convoy with other trusted drivers when delivering high value or vulnerable loads. Be aware of 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 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'.
Tips for reducing the risk of vehicle and load theft
Vehicle keys: Make sure keys are stored in a locked unit when not in use. Limit the number of staff that have access and place it in an area not easily accessible to others.
Vehicle storage: Make your site secure. Facilities should include locked gates, perimeter fences or walls, CCTV and security lighting.
Paperwork: Keep vehicle documents in a safe place that's free from fire risk. Make a record of who loads the vehicle, which driver is operating it, the destination of the load and the recipient.
Loading vigilance: Ensure your loading area is discreet and that you know who is loading the vehicle. Is there an inventory system or a loading supervisor?
Employee background: Careful recruitment is vital. Check the history of new employees, gathering references from previous employers and checking the identity of individuals via driving licence, national insurance card, etc.
Training: Loading operatives and drivers will benefit from training that highlights security risks. Training also shows the company is aware of the risk of theft and looking to deter would-be thieves. Training should include advice on load and vehicle securing, and what to do if there is a change of delivery location or recipient of goods.
Driver safety: Drivers need clear instructions for deliveries, access to a company contact (especially in 24-hour operations), and a plan of action in the event of a hijack, vehicle or load theft.
If you'd like information on our consultancy services, contact our Member Service Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 03717 11 22 22
Find out more about road freight security and industry security groups.