Car park security fears for one in three motorists
As the darker evenings set in, a new survey has revealed that more than one in three motorists have felt unsafe while in a car park.
The survey, carried out by YourParkingSpace.co.uk, found that 38% of respondents claimed to have felt unsafe in a car park, with the figure increasing to 51% of female drivers.Of those polled, 23% said safety and security were the most important factors when choosing a place to park.
According to figures from the AA, around 20% of car crime occurs in car parks, and YourParkingSpace.co.uk has published a series of tips to help you stay safe.
- Park somewhere that is well lit Increased lighting levels in dark areas can reduce the fear of crime and opportunities to commit offences.If you’re in a car park, try to park under lights.If you’re parking on a private driveway, try to find one that is overlooked and on a well-lit street.
- Opt for a space with traffic and surveillance When parking in a car park, make sure it’s monitored by CCTV or security personnel.For peace of mind, look for a car park displaying the Safer Parking Scheme’s ‘Park Mark’ sign, which shows that the operator has been assessed to ensure that they’re properly managed and maintained.You can find a list of accredited car parks at www.parkmark.co.uk.
- Find a space in advance Aim to park somewhere you’re familiar with.If you have to park in an area you don’t know, check out the options beforehand to save driving around looking for a space in the dark.
- Don’t leave anything on display Lock all items out of sight in the boot, even an old coat may be enough to tempt an opportunist thief.Take all valuables with you, as well as any personal correspondence.
- Familiarise yourself When parking in a car park, familiarise yourself with the layout and exits, pedestrian and vehicle routes and closing times.
- Stay alert Be aware of what is going on around you, and don’t get caught up with listening to music, checking emails or texting when walking to and from your vehicle.
- Keep your keys to hand Have your keys to hand so that you’re not stood searching for them by your car when you return.
- Never leave your keys in the ignition You may be tempted do this to warm your car up or de-ice it, but never leave your keys in the ignition – not even for a second.
- Report concerns If you have any safety concerns, or return to find that your car has been broken into, go immediately to security for help and inform the car park management.
“Not all car parks are dark and sinister places, in fact far from it, but taking a few precautionary steps can significantly reduce the risk of parking-related crime and reduce the worry of being a victim in the first place,” said the company’s MD, Harrison Woods.