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Van thefts and tool thefts from vans remain a constant battle for van owners.

Protecting your van is all about being alert to the risks and staying ahead of the thieves.

We've spoken to several experts who highlight the severity of the issue, noting that vans, regardless of their location, are frequent targets, with criminals continually devising new methods to break into vans and steal their contents - whether it's tools, parcels or materials.

Unfortunately where there's an opportunity theives will gather and there is constant innovation in illegal access techniques used by thieves.

Enhancing physical security is therefore essential.

A van insurance expert advises that additional security devices, beyond factory standards, such as mechanical locks, alarms, and immobilisers, can be very effective.

Robust locking systems suitable for various van doors are designed for easy installation without professional help, providing convenience and enhanced security. Most can be installed in about seven to ten minutes. These locks can be used across a fleet with a master key and are cost-effective and provide a strong visual deterrent against theft.

There's a growing demand for its highly visible "statement locks," in order to deter thieves. Electronic slam-locks, which automatically secure doors upon closing, and additional measures like rear window guards, also further enhance security. These guards prevent thieves from reaching into the cargo area even if they break the glass.

Locks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with features like anti-drill pins and high-security keys that prevent unauthorised duplication. Replacement keys are tightly controlled, requiring validation through security registers to prevent misuse.

However, the effectiveness of locks depends on drivers remembering to use them. Telematics systems can remind drivers to lock their vehicles and even immobilise them if they fail to do so.

Prevention is crucial. Many drivers often leave their vans unlocked during quick stops, which is a definite security risk.

To further protect their vehicles, owners should park in well-lit areas, secure valuable items, and check driver credentials thoroughly.

For keyless ignition systems, storing keys in a Faraday pouch can prevent signal interception. In the event of a robbery, drivers should comply with thieves to ensure their safety, but technology like remote immobilisation can assist in recovering stolen vehicles.

Advanced tracking systems can also help locate stolen vans and alert owners to theft attempts. These measures, combined with installing additional security features beyond factory standards, significantly enhance vehicle security.

While manufacturers have faced criticism for basic security measures, collaborations with security companies have led to the development of high-security options as factory-fit features in some vehicles. These include sophisticated locks and enhanced protection packages.

Insurance companies may offer premium discounts for additional security measures, though this varies depending on the insurer and the specific circumstances.

Taking these precautions can go a long way in protecting commercial vehicles from theft.

Van Tool Theft: How to Secure Your Van and Belongings

Here's a breakdown of what you can do to improve your van's security:

Physical Deterrents:

Electronic Security Systems:

Best Practices:

TVL Security has increased its offering for Ford vans with three new security device packs designed for added load security in Ford's latest light commercial vehicles.

Ford customers can choose from three additional TVL Security developed options, that include their SlamHandle, HookLock and ArmourShell packs.

TVL extends its working relationship with Ford which started back in 2018, and will supply the new security features on the recently revamped Ford Transit Custom van.

Ford Transit Custom vans can be factory-fitted with TVL Security equipment, speeding up the time it takes to get a van fully secured and on to the road. Their anti-pick cylinder RepLock – which prevents the driver’s door from being picked open- j has been available as a factory fit option since the partnership began.

The new options will include the following security packs:

For the first time, customers selecting the HookLock or ArmourShell packs will also be able to choose it they want the security features on the cabin or the load area individually. LatchShield, which was also previously only included with the SlamHandle pack, is now available on all packages along with LoomGaurd.

Two new matte-black lock escutcheon designs have also been developed, ensuring lock cylinders are flush to the cover regardless of whether the cylinder protrudes from the door skin.

TVL Security manufactures the products at its headquarters in Brentwood, Essex, where they are then shopped to the Ford assembly plant in Kocaeli, Turkey.

TVL Security, a UK-based vehicle security solutions provider, has introduced updated versions of its award-winning aftermarket lock packages with intelligent connected technology.

The new ArmourShell 2.0 and HookLock 2.0 locking systems, unveiled at the Commercial Vehicle Show 2023 in Birmingham, come with additional sensors that allow fleet managers to monitor whether the locks are engaged remotely.

The locks, when paired with a leading vehicle tracking system, offer a first-of-its-kind solution in the UK's aftermarket vehicle security sector. The accompanying app provides users with real-time feedback and historical data, which can be used to track metrics and validate claims of attacks on specific vehicles. The upgraded locking systems will be compatible with all popular van makes and models on the market, including EV variants, and will commence supply in Q3 2023.

TVL's new Anti-Cut Shielding panel range was also unveiled. Constructed with aramid fibres already used in applications including bulletproof vests, the panels are designed to incapacitate power tools used to cut through the van. The panels prevent unauthorised entry and can be fitted internally to areas around vehicle locks for added protection.

The panels can also be installed in the roof for even greater all-round load security.

Laura Moran, MD of TVL Group, said: “The accessibility and effectiveness of power tools mean they are a popular choice for thieves, so we set out to slow them down. The aramid fibres in our new range have a highly regarded track record in other applications, helping to keep both assets and personnel safe."

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