When it comes to personal possessions, half of all UK car owners (52%) are more concerned about locking away their laptops than keeping their car keys safe, helping to fuel £39.5 million worth of car thefts at home in 2008.
New research from Vauxhall reveals that 99% of drivers give no thought to hiding their car keys from prying eyes, with nearly a fifth placing more importance on protecting their TVs (18%) and jewellery (15%).
Despite 10,043 cars being stolen from UK driveways last year following car key thefts from our homes, three-quarters of us give burglars a helping hand by failing to hide our keys away. Nationwide, 6% of burglaries include car theft, yet one in 10 (10%) drivers are guilty of leaving their car keys by the front door, with a third (33%) leaving them on show in the kitchen giving intruders an easy ride.
The research marks the launch of 'Key Safe' - a joint initiative between Vauxhall and Bedfordshire Police to highlight the consequences of leaving car keys on display in the home. Branded Key Safe bags have been distributed to members of the public to encourage them to keep their keys safe and out of view. At the same time, stickers for cars and homes have been given to locals to help deter potential thieves.
Commenting on the research, Chief Inspector James Goldsmith of the Bedfordshire Police said "Despite a 10 per cent reduction of burglaries across Bedfordshire during 2008, this survey confirms our own and national findings that many residents fail to take the basic steps of keeping their car keys out of sight and easy reach. A vehicle is often the second biggest expenditure for a household and having a vehicle stolen can cause major disruption, cost, inconvenience and emotional upset to the people concerned. We are pleased to be working in partnership with Vauxhall to promote Key Safe and raise awareness of how one simple action can assist in tackling this type of crime."
Simon Ewart, spokesperson for Vauxhall said, "It's easy to forget that a car key is a valuable possession that needs to be kept safe. Home car theft is a serious crime and we're committed, together with the Bedfordshire Police, to help the public tackle this problem."Published 30 June 2009