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4 Steps to HGV & Van Security in 2023

Unfortunately, vehicle security breaches can and do happen every day.

Not only can the value of your vehicle (and its parts) attract thieves, but the value of your personal items and the goods you are transporting can also make your vehicle an easy target.

To improve your van’s security and stay one step ahead of criminals, remember LINK - the 4 key rules for staying safe both on & off the road:

1. LOOK

Staying aware of your surroundings both on and off the road is essential.

If you notice anything suspicious, or if something feels wrong, leave immediately.

After your vehicle has been parked for a period of time, make sure that you have carried out your daily HGV / van walkaround checks to look for any possible signs of damage or interference before setting off.

Should you find any evidence of third-party damage or interference, it is vital that you contact the relevant authorities.

2. INFORM

Whether you are stopping somewhere overnight or pulling over for a quick break, make sure to let someone know that you have stopped driving.

Always keeping others informed - be it your boss, coworker or friend - can help keep you and your vehicle safe.

(Remember: while notifying someone you trust of your location is a good thing, revealing your location on social media can make you a target for criminals, even if your account is private. Never publicly share your location online.)

If you see someone acting suspiciously near your vehicle, report what you have seen to the delivery site / depot security, or to Counter Terrorism Policing.

3. NEED

What is the list of things you need to do to protect your vehicle?

In order to keep yourself and your vehicle safe, there are many precautions that can be taken, including -

  • Parking in an area with CCTV
  • Adding security lights, lockable gates or bollards can quickly improve your vehicle's security
  • Don't leave valuables inside your van (and definitely not any visible ones)
  • If you are a fleet manager, ensure that your team is aware of the correct safety procedures (and their importance).
  • When purchasing your van, make security a priority. Check that the van you purchase has the right security kit as standard, and consider purchasing useful extras such as deadlocks, immobilisers and alarms for your doors.
  • Precious metals inside catalytic converters are attractive to thieves. Consider purchasing & installing an anti-theft device to protect your converter.

During breaks or while refuelling, the risk of experiencing an assault or theft increases exponentially. As the driver of your vehicle, you are responsible for the goods you are carrying during transit.

Because of this, there may be additional things that you require to protect the contents of your load. This includes tools.

Depending on which country/countries you will be travelling through, the rules for what you can and cannot bring with you will differ. For example, pepper spray can be a useful self-defence tool to help prevent assault or theft. In cases where it is not possible to call for help, it can be particularly useful.

In Poland and France, pepper spray is legal to use for those aged 18 and over and can easily be stored in the glove compartment.

However, some countries, such as Italy and Portugal, allow the use of pepper spray only with a permit. In France, if the volume of the gas canister is higher than 100ml, then this will also require a special permit.

Meanwhile, many other EU countries, including the UK, Denmark, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway, prohibit its usage. Those caught with pepper spray may face serious legal consequences.

When transporting goods through different countries, remember to check what tools you can and cannot bring with you - and always check before entering the country.

4. KEEP YOUR TEAM MOTIVATED

Never let safety be an afterthought.

If you are a fleet manager, ensuring that your team is fully aware of the correct safety procedures (and their importance) is crucial.

By regularly updating your team and reminding them of the latest safety precautions, you can promote safety and vigilance for your entire team.

While we hope that you will never have to experience vehicle theft or hijacking, this can and does happen every day.

Following these four steps can help you to protect yourself, your vehicle and your goods.

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03 November 2022

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