CARAVAN SECURITY
 
Immobilise your caravan even when you stop only briefly. Make sure your caravan can't be towed away by following these simple tips:-
  • Lock the coupling head using a good quality hitchlock. These give a reasonable degree of protection from an opportunist thief.
  • Use locking wheelnuts and a good quality clamp on the wheels.
  • Think about securing each corner steady by using a good quality padlock and make sure it has a short shackle to prevent thieves from cutting through it.
  • If you use a chain make sure it is a strong heavy duty one.
  • You may also want to have a tracking device fitted allowing the police or a system operator to track the caravan if it is stolen.
  • Security marking helps the police identify and return stolen caravans to their rightful owners and can put off thieves. Since 1992 all National Caravan Council recognised manufacturers have stamped the 17 digit vehicle identification number onto the vehicle chassis and etched it into the windows. If your vehicle is not marked in this way, have your chassis number etched into the windows and consider marking this number and your postcode inside your caravan cupboards and other hidden places with a permanent marker pen and keep a note of the places where you have done so. It may help to identify the caravan if it is stolen.

To prevent thieves breaking into the caravan:-

  • Have a reliable alarm fitted and remember to turn it on even when you leave your caravan for a short time.
  • Always close doors, windows and any rooflight when you leave even if only for a short time.
  • Always lock your caravan and take the keys with you. At home, store the keys in a safe place that is out of sight and away from any windows and doors.
  • Mark all the property you normally take with you in your caravan with your postcode or some other unique identifying number linked to a recognised database and keep a note of serial numbers in a safe place. This helps police return items to you and also helps to convict criminals.
  • Take photographs of your caravan and interior fittings.

Buying a caravan

If you are purchasing a second-hand caravan NEVER buy caravans in pub car parks or motorway services. If you are meeting a seller at a house, check that it is their home as thieves have been known to sell caravans from driveways of empty properties. Check the chassis number has not been removed or altered. If in any doubt, contact your crime reduction officer at your local police station. Before buying, consider checking the caravan's history on CRIS (Caravan Registration and Identification Scheme, 01722 411430) (www.crischeck.com).

Consider the following:

  • Is the seller insisting on meeting you away from home, possibly to avoid being identified or traced. If so, why?
  • Can the seller provide proof of identity and address?
  • Check that all the caravan keys are available and correct.
  • Check that the number-plate is the same on the caravan and the towcar. Be wary if temporary or hand-written number-plates are being used?
  • Ask about security devices that may have been fitted by the seller.
  • Ask the seller whether the caravan is registered with CRIS. If it is, ask the seller to fill in the notification of sale section on the back of the touring Caravan Registration Document and send it to CRIS. The seller should give you the rest of the document for you to fill in the Notification of Changes with the appropriate registration fee.

When your caravan is not in use

Always try to use an approved, secured, caravan park whenever possible. These have gained a police 'Secured by Design' award for security features which lessen the opportunity for crime to take place and offer a secure environment for your caravan. Your crime reduction officer at your local station will be able to give you information about any secured caravan parks in the area.

 

Your caravan is even more vulnerable when it is not being used. Caravans left on sites, storage compounds and on your driveways are targets for thieves. Wherever it is, immobilise your caravan using quality wheel clamps or a security post fitted near the front of the A frame and the main body or both. Remove all your personal belongings when you are not using your caravan. Leave cupboard doors and curtains open - thieves can be put off by a caravan that is obviously empty. Choose a storage site wisely, not just on price. Check the security measures. If you can enter the storage area and remove your caravan without being approached, so can a thief.

 

Ask neighbours to keep an eye on your caravan as well as your house if you are away. Consider fixing good quality security posts on your drive to prevent your caravan being stolen while you are not there.

 

Additional information

You can find useful crime prevention advice by visiting www.crimereduction.gov.uk

Copies of caravan crime prevention leaflets can be obtained from the Caravan Security section of the Home Office website.

 

You can get more information about caravan security devices by phoning the Sold Secure Helpline on 01327 264687.


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