Over the past year it has become apparent that there has been an increase in the number of catalytic converters that have been stolen from vehicles. Commercial premises which house a number of commercial vans have been targeted as well as individual vehicles parked in the street and driveways, often resulting in a large amount of damage to the vehicle.
Ways to deter catalytic converter theft
1. Defensive parking – Park in a highly visible, well lit area. Off road parking areas such as secure compounds should be used whenever possible. A highly visible parking area should be open to view from passers-by or from a monitored CCTV system. Vehicles with a high clearance from the ground make catalytic converters vulnerable and exposed to attack. Try and park so as to reduce this vulnerability and hinder access to these areas. At the least you want to slow the thieves down as much as possible so that other security measures have time to effectively respond.
2. Parking area – Consider where you are parking. Generally thieves do not like to be seen committing a crime. Consider where the vehicle is parked, is it well lit at night and easily seen? If within a compound good dusk to dawn security lighting makes your vehicles visible and also consider additional movement sensor lighting which would alert passers-by to an intruder.
3. Monitored CCTV – Recording images of thieves committing crimes that have already taken place can be of limited value if a large amount of damage has been caused to vehicles. It is more effective to have monitored surveillance where an operator can alert police to the presence of an intruder.
4. Security fencing – Good quality strong perimeter fencing will deter the opportunistic thief and will slow down the more organised thief so that other security measures such as monitored CCTV can respond. Fencing on its own in a remote location will be vulnerable to attack if not supported by some form of monitoring and surveillance.
5. Fit Catalytic converter protection – There are now a number of option available on the commercial market for security products that will help protect catalytic converters. These range from marking kits with a unique reference, that will help the police identify the owner if they recover stolen property. To products that attach to the catalytic converter to help prevent its removal from the vehicle. Some vehicles can now be supplied with protection factory fitted. It is however important to highlight the fact that you have taken security precautions and display signage to this effect.
Should you require further advice on how to protect your vehicles from this type of theft then contact Suffolk Constabulary by phoning 101 and ask to speak to your local Crime Reduction Officer.