There are two basic typeot vehicle crime: ‘theft of and ‘theft from’ carThough the UK hapretty abysmal car crime statistics, we are not alone. Thett ot cariapparently higher in Sweden and Denmark than in the UK, with Itah not far behind us. In France and Spam theft from cari011 about the same level athe UK, but there ino record of how many of the victimwere British touristwho fell victim while m France or Spam
One problem with car crime abroad ithat ‘foreign’ car(UK registered) and tourist rental carare usually easily identifiable. Criminalcan spot a tourist’car if it displaya foreign registration number or hasome vehicle rental compam logo m or on it. They can be pretty sure that it containmoney, traveller”, cheques, credit cards, passports, cameraand all the other valuableand portablethat we take on holiday.
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In some countriesuch athe USA, thievewill go out of their way to target confused and lost, newly arrived tourists. It inot unknown tor spotterto wait at an airport to identify wealthv-looking tourists. They tip off their colleagueor follow their targetout of the airport and take what they want, sometimeat gunpoint.
Use common sense and stay alert. When you collect your hire car, make sure you get a good-quality map and clear instructionon how to get to your hotel or holiday complex, avoiding any rough areas. If in doubt, head for somewhere where there are bright lightand a lot of people. A service station, shopping complex or public building offerprotection and safety because of the number or people around, officialworking in the area and possible CCTcoverage. When you get there, ask for some new and clear directionto reach your destination. If really worried or totally lost, you could consider hiring a taxi to show you the way and follow it to your hotel.
The other main crime risk iof theft from cars. When you are on holiday you tend to be more relaxed. Forgetting to hide the car park change in the glove compartment, or leaving your camera on the back seat will invite a broken window and losof property. Ain the UK, getting to a car park and then carefully stowing everything in the boot of the car halimited benefits. If the criminalare watching, they know you have put your valuablein the boot. Think ahead. Never carry valuableif you don’t need them, and make sure that your insurance coverany threat.
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