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Vehicle Crime

Advice and Guidance

If you have been a victim of crime, don’t suffer in silence. Even if you do not want to report the crime to the police, think about telling a trusted friend or family member so they can help and support you. Nottinghamshire Victim CARE can also provide you with help and support even if you do not want to report the crime to the Police.

Victim CARE can provide:

  • Emotional support to help you cope and recover from the crime
  • Advocacy with other agencies and organisations
  • Advice on crime prevention and provision of target hardening equipment (if required)
  • Practical support and advice
  • Restorative Justice 
  • Support applying to Criminal Injuries Compensation (CICA)

Call Nottinghamshire Victim CARE on 0800 304 7575 or click here to request a call back.

If you do want to report the crime to the police please see our page on reporting a crime

Vehicle crime relates to a number of crimes to do with vehicles. It could be theft of a vehicle (car, van, motorcycle), theft of something from your vehicle (i.e. personal belongings on seat, glove compartment or boot), or theft of something off your vehicle (number plate, catalytic converter).  This could happen wherever your vehicle is parked – at home, work or out and about.

Police Investigation

You can report a crime through 999 if it is in progress (currently happening) or through 101 if it has already happened.

When you report your items as stolen, you will be asked:

  • Date and time of the incident – approximate if you aren’t totally sure
  • Where your vehicle or items were stolen from
  • Details of any suspicious activity at the time
  • Identifiable features of items stolen, serial numbers etc.

After reporting –

  • If your vehicle has been stolen, it will be updated on the Police National Computer (PNC) – if your vehicle is then stopped and checked by Police or Automatic Number Plate Reader System (ANPR), it will be acted on.
  • If you reported a stolen vehicle, you will have been asked whether you’d like to use the Police Recovery Duty Garage should your vehicle be found. You will be charged for this service, so it is worth speaking to your insurance provider before, to establish whether they will cover you for this.  

Practical Advice

Try to note down everything that has been stolen. You might need to provide evidence to show the value of items you intend to claim for. Try to gather receipts, ownership documents or photos – or any evidence of purchase from bank statements.

Contact the number on your insurance policy as soon as you feel able to. You will need to explain in detail what exactly happened, so it can be helpful to do this when it is fresh in your memory.

You will also need to provide insurers with your crime number – the officer in your case should have provided this to you after taking your statement. If you don’t have this or can’t remember, you can contact 101 and they can provide it after taking a few details.

Looking after yourself

Everyone reacts differently to experiencing a crime. It is important however to recognise that whatever has happened to you, it can still feel like a violation.

If you have any physical injuries, it is important that you get these checked out as soon as possible at either a walk in centre or Accident and Emergency – you can find your local urgent care centre here https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/Urgent-Care/LocationSearch/0

You might also find that you feel suddenly quite emotional, you might struggle to sleep properly or feel anxious being in your home or out and about. It is important that you recognise that all of these are not unusual to experience following any crime.

Some ways you can help yourself during this time:

  • Let your friends and family know what has happened, and if you feel comfortable, tell them how you feel
  • If possible, speak to your workplace or school – see whether they can offer flexibility or time off to sort things out
  • If you are struggling with your emotional wellbeing, speak to your GP – they may be able to refer you for counselling

The NHS Moodzone pages have a lot of tips on how to boost your emotional wellbeing which you can find here.

By remembering to take a few simple steps, you can make it much harder for criminals to target you again:

  • Never leave personal items on display in your vehicle
  • Ensure your car is locked – even if you are leaving it for a few minutes
  • Use theft resistant number plates
  • Use a lockable petrol cap
  • If you’re at home, don’t leave your vehicle keys in a visible location
  • If you have a garage, use it and always lock the garage door
  • If you see any suspicious activity around vehicles in the area – report it on 101
  • Sign up to a local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
  • Never assume that your vehicle is safer in any particular location – always be vigilant of following the above advice, vehicle crime can happen anywhere.