Vehicle theft

The Metropolitan Police Crime Data Dashboard shows that over the past two years there have been an average of 73 motor vehicle thefts reported per month across our Borough.

90% of vehicle thefts in the UK are of keyless vehicles by means of “relay theft” (Source: Tracker Network UK).  This method can be easily thwarted by vehicle owners, so it’s time for a reminder of the steps that keyless car owners can take to avoid this.

Please click on the links below for more information – note that we can only mention products that are Police Approved (Secured by Design):

  • A Physical Locking Device for the steering wheel.  This tells the thief that entry to the vehicle will result in another hurdle to tackle.
  • A Faraday Bag into which the keys can be placed (one for the main set and one for the spare) – these must still be kept some distance from the front door and must be completely closed, and inspected for damage which could cause the signal to be leaked.
  • An electronic Fob Protector that turns key fobs off automatically when they are stationary for 20 seconds, at which point the fob “goes to sleep” until moved again and cannot be woken by relay theft.  There is a 15% discount code available to members of Hillingdon NHW until 31st December,
  • If all owners of keyless vehicles take at least one of these measures as a result of this OWL message, the number of offences across Hillingdon should start to fall.

NOTE: Please do NOT post the coupon code for the Fob Protector on Social Media or Voucher Sites – thank you!

Please note that HNW has no financial affiliations with any of the companies mentioned; this message is circulated to highlight Police Approved products to assist the Police with crime prevention on our Borough.

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address:

Dave Ludlow
Community Coordinator

Bogus car damage claims

Two incidents have been drawn to our attention of a claim for damages being made against the driver of a vehicle, whereby a third party has falsely alleged that a wing mirror has been damaged, and a claim then made against the innocent party.

The most recent incidents were in the Eastcote area, but this type of scam could occur anywhere across our Borough, and this message is being circulated Borough-wide to raise awareness.

One way in which this scam can unfold is that you pass a parked vehicle and hear a loud bang against your own vehicle, which is in fact caused by someone striking it with an object as you pass them.  They then follow you and flash their lights, and you stop and engage with them.

An advanced version of this scam has the driver of the other vehicle moving to the passenger side of your vehicle and pushing your mirror in towards the passenger door, usually as you are getting out.

In all variants they will show you their own broken driver’s side mirror, to convince you that you are at fault.

Advice to follow in this situation:

You will nearly always know whether your mirror has definitely struck someone else’s, but a key method of proving what actually happened is to use a dashcam which will show the scammer’s vehicle with a broken offside mirror before you actually pass it.

Remember to make sure that your dashcam is working and has a full view of the road straight ahead, to capture parked vehicles.

These matters need to be reported to the Police please – this can be done online, and you should do this as soon as possible after the event to protect your own position by creating a written record of the event, date and time to refer back to.

It’s important to get the make, model and colour of the other vehicle involved, and the registration number, together with a full description of the person making the false claim.

Please also inform us at Hillingdon Neighbourhood Watch

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address:

Dave Ludlow
Community Coordinator

SNT Newsletter and OWL app

The new OWL app was launched on Google Play and the Apple App Store on 1 July.  You can install it on your smartphone to receive alerts for the local area.

The latest Safer Neighbourhood Team newsletter is available here.

Met Police latest advice

The Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit has seen a sharp rise in “Royal Mail” delivery scams over the last week or two.

Victims receive texts or emails purporting to be from Royal Mail claiming a package requires a small payment to be delivered. (along with other similar narratives)

Clicking on the link and providing your details leads to your money and/or identity being stolen.
Scammers send hundreds of thousands of these messages every day. Someone, somewhere, will receive one of these on the very day that they were expecting a parcel. The chances of a hit by the scammers is therefore extremely high. One moment of dropping your guard and clicking on a link is enough to make their day.

If you do click through accidentally then as well as compromising your device, the website may ask you for e.g. your date of birth to verify who you are before proceeding – having given up that piece of information to them they are then one step closer to your full identity.

There is a list of examples of some very convincing scam messages on the Royal Mail website – please make yourself familiar with these:

Dave Ludlow
Community Coordinator