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Caravans and Motorhomes: Crime Prevention Advice

West Mercia Police have seen an increase in the reports of thefts/attempted thefts of and from caravans and motorhomes over the last few months. If you are a caravan or motorhome owner, here are a few tips which may help in protecting your property:  

When your caravan/motorhome is not in use:
·  Remove all your personal belongings and contents. Leave cupboard doors and curtains open, this may help to deter opportunist thieves if they can see it’s empty.
·  Store your caravan securely. If you are choosing a storage site, don’t just look at the price. Check to see that it offers good security measures.
·  If you are leaving your caravan/motorhome at home, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your caravan/motorhome as well as your home. Consider fixing good security posts on your drive to prevent your caravan/motorhome being stolen.

Store your caravan/motorhome securely
·  Choose a site operated by the Caravan Storage site Owners Association (CaSSOA)
·  Check to see if it offers good security measures for example secure posts to which your caravan can be hitch-locked, ground anchors, security staff or CCTV.
·  Remember if you can enter the storage area and remove your caravan without being approached, then so can a thief.

Devices for securing your caravan/motorhome
·  Installing a reliable alarm system (GSM) and tracking device.
·  Locking the coupling head into a cover using a good quality hitch lock.
·  Using locking wheel nuts and a good quality clamp on the caravan wheels.
·  Chaining your caravan to a robust and secure point. Use a heavy duty chain that is made out of hardened steel to reduce the chance of it being cut through.

Protect your belongings
·  Ensure you close and lock your doors, windows and roof lights when you leave your caravan.
·  Don’t leave anything valuable on display, laptops etc.
·  Consider security marking any valuables and make sure you have the serial numbers for any items.
·  Never leave Caravan Registration and identification documents (CRis) or V5 documentation in your vehicle.

·  Check that the chassis number hasn’t been removed or altered / Check the vehicle registration matches the type of vehicle its on.
·  Before buying privately, consider checking the caravans history on CRiS.
·  Check all the keys are available and correct.
·  Check the number plate is the same as the one on the tow vehicle. Be wary if temporary or handwritten number plates are used.
·  Always ask about built in security features such as an alarm or tracking device, caravan safe, hitch-lock or wheel clamps.

Caravan facts
Caravans manufactured since 1992 by the National Caravan Council members are recorded on the CRiS database by their unique 17 digital Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) The 17 digit vehicle identification document (VIN) should be stamped onto the caravan chassis and etched on the windows. Even if you own a pre-1992 caravan, or imported your own caravan into the UK, you can still register it with CRiS yourself. All caravans manufactures since August 1997 are electronically tagged for added security.