|The violent form of car theft
you know what to do if you were sitting at a road junction and a car
thief hammered on the window shouting at you to get out? This is car-jacking.
Inside Out investigates.
Inside Out's Morland Sanders took the opportunity to take some tips from former "special
forces" driving experts in evasive driving techniques.
He was also made aware of just how violent this form of car theft really
the criminal fraternity have broadened their tools of the trade and car-jacking
is the name of the game for a quick buck - often as a first step to another
they've a taste for cars at the top end of the market - the reality is
that almost any kind of vehicle will do.
Just for kicks?
|Don't take risks - it is only a lump of metal
go for your car either just for fun or to feed the multi-million pound
racket that could see your car destined for Eastern Europe or Africa -
they don't care.
is an opportunist crime, usually being committed by a thief searching
for easy pickings.
Young people can often see it as a rite of passage - a status symbol or
just a thrill for joy-riding.
the prevalence of sophisticated car alarms and anti-theft devices, the
car thief has had to think of different ways to get his prize - car jacking
is a relatively soft target.
luxury ones, provide quick cash for drug users and other criminals, so
the street corner or traffic lights can very much be seen as their patch.
St Claire was lucky to get away with minor injuries
Claire knows only too well how far car-jackers are prepared to push their
She had her Mercedes keys taken from her as she got into her car - but
she was determined not to let her vehicle go without a fight.
paid off - her attackers fled without her car - but there are dozens of
others who have similar stories to tell.
Car salesman Paul Burnyeat had the ignominy of being booted out of a car
after going on a test drive - the tales are endless.
The 'bump' method
we are under a legal obligation to report any accident that involves a
car. So car thieves have tried the "bump" car jack.
is where the car thief will drive gently into the back of your car, sometimes
when on the move, which obliges you to pull over to "exchange details".
This is when the thief will attack.
it's just a "lump of metal" that can be replaced, there are
some commonsense actions to take to reduce
the risk of attack and loss of your car.
Edmund King, Executive Director of the RAC Foundation, says, "With
car-jacking on the increase throughout the country, the violent thugs
who carry out this crime should be given harsher penal sentences.
is taking a strong stance against this crime
car-jacking as a specific criminal offence would make this easier, and
enable the police to obtain accurate records of the number of attacks
that are taking place nationally.
"The home secretary has suggested that thieves who target innocent
motorists in car-jacking attacks will be sent down for a very long time.
hope that the government takes the suggestion of making car-jacking a
specific offence seriously."
The Home Secretary, David Blunkett says, "We have got to send a very
clear message and the message is - get involved in this and you will go
down for a very long time."
becoming a victim
Here are some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim from Chris McGoey - the 'Crime Doctor'.
park in well-lighted areas, if you plan to arrive / leave after dark
park in isolated or visually obstructed areas by walls or heavy foliage
you walk to your car be alert to suspicious persons sitting in cars
for a security escort if you are alone at a shopping centre
out for young males loitering in the area (handing out flyers, etc)
someone tries to approach, change direction or run to a busy shop
safe, open the car door, enter quickly, and lock the doors
be a target by turning your back while loading packages into the car
it your habit to always start your car and drive away immediately
the city, always drive with your car doors locked and windows up
stopped in traffic, leave room to manoeuvre and escape, if necessary
you are bumped in traffic, by young males, be suspicious of the accident
to follow, and drive to a garage or busy place before getting out
you are ever confronted by an armed car-jacker don't resist
up your keys or money if demanded without resistance
argue, fight or chase the robber - you could be seriously injured
the police immediately to report the crime and provide details