Laminated Answer To Doubling Of 'Smash & Grab' Vehicle Crime

Citroen C4 VTS

Citroen C4

  • 1 In 6 Want Security Glass Fitted As Standard

Latest Home Office* statistics show that attempted “smash and grab” vehicle crime has doubled in a decade, leaving motorists feeling more vulnerable than ever to attack.

Windows continue to be the weakest area of a vehicle, accounting for 1 in 2 car crimes*. Yet with approaching 100 break-ins every hour in the UK**, at a cost of £1.4bn annually to the insurance industry***, experts believe high security laminated glass could dramatically reduce the trend.

New research from Citroen has found that 1 in 6 car owners would like to see the unbreakable safety glass fitted as a legal standard within the next 10 years****.

Laminated glass, which is constructed of a polyvinylbutyral (PVB) interlayer sandwiched between two thin glass plies, was first used on windscreens to improve safety in the event of an accident. It is now a legal requirement.

However, until recently laminated glass in side windows was exclusively limited to the luxury end of the car market.

Recently Citroen became the first volume manufacturer to introduce laminated side windows as standard in the small family hatchback sector, on versions of the popular and innovative C4. The French manufacturer now offers the technology on three models - C4, C5 and the new C6.

What Car? magazine has been at the forefront of the drive for laminated side glass to be fitted to more cars, and group editor Steve Fowler commented: "The example set by Citroen is widely applauded. Security glazing is potentially the most significant security development since the introduction of the immobiliser, so it really does need to be embraced."

Aside from the obvious anti-crime benefits of laminating the side glass, it also makes it less likely that drivers will be thrown from their vehicles during an accident as well as reducing noise inside the car - by around four decibels. Motorists also feel more secure when inside the vehicle, especially given the eightfold increase in “traffic light” car muggings reported over the past three years.*

Marc Raven, spokesman for Citroen added: “The move towards adding laminated windows on more of our models further underlines Citroen’s commitment to safety and security.”

Published 24 March 2006 Melanie Carter

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