Satnav Lovers Beware

17:08 Fri 16th Jul 2010 |

Since the launch of satnav systems, millions of UK motorists have been better able to find their way on the complex and busy roads. For some driving professionals, these pieces of kit are seen as invaluable aides to their role.

However, although the devices have been of benefit to many, a large number of motorists are now facing a backlash as criminals target them, often resulting in hefty car insurance claims. According to a recent report, 36 of these gadgets are stolen each day as the capital's crooks are currently engaging in a rampant crime spree.

This surge in crimes reported in London is the highest since satnavs became available and now accounts for about one-sixth of all thefts from cars in the city. One expert from consumer watchdog Which?, believes that the cause for this dramatic rise in criminal activity is partly due to negligence on the consumer's part. Many Britons are leaving such items on display when they step out of their vehicles, he claims. This could be an open invitation to thieves - and potentially runs the risk of invalidating a car insurance policy.

"For thieves snatching these devices it is easy money; they are so valuable it is not worth hanging around to also steal other items in the car," a senior researcher at the firm commented.

"Any motorist who leaves the device in place in the car - or even telltale signs such as the cradle, instruction book or ringmarks on the windscreen where the device was fitted - is asking for trouble."

However, although the figures related above show that the nation's capital is proving to be a hotbed of theft, it is also clear from other sources that it is not alone in suffering these woes. Police forces across the country have recently issued a stark "remove it or lose it" message to local motorists.

And both bodies are bemoaning the lack of heed that drivers seem to pay this advice. In central London signs are being posted up on roadsides in order to educate car insurance customers, while police officers have spoken out in the wake of a "staggering" 50 car break-ins in one week.

A police official summed up his frustration thus: "I know we seem to be repeating the same message again and again but the figures show that some people are still not listening."

"Leaving valuables on show in a vehicle is like an invitation to thieves."

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