We spend a great deal of time in our vehicles and like any other form of security that provides us with personal protection, vehicle security has its part to play.
For those of you not familiar with close protection procedures let me say here that the most vulnerable time is when the Prinicipal (VIP) is getting in or out of their vehicle. What we call em-bussing and de-bussing. This is also true with regards to you.
While writing this article it started turning into a whole book by itself; with the amount of information I was putting down so I have redone it in point form, with a list of Do's and Don'ts in each of the headings. I have also kept it pretty basic for this short blog post.
Vehicle security is split into six separate headings. These headings, actions, listed below are what you do in a logical order every day, each time you go for a drive.
Approaching your vehicle
Getting into your vehicle
Driving your vehicle
Parking your vehicle
Getting out of your vehicle
Leaving your vehicle
Have your keys in your hand as you approach.
Check around and inside your vehicle before you get in and at least 2-3 cars on each side and across from you in multi story car parks.
Have a mini torch on your car key ring.
Unlock your car only when you know it is safe to do so and only when you are standing next to it.
Have a cut off line.
Check for tampering of your vehicle if you are directly targeted.
Check around after each separate event.
Unlock your vehicle from a distance.
Approach your vehicle if you suspect anything/anyone suspicious is nearby.
Approach the vehicle if you cannot find your keys. Find them first then approach.
Approach your vehicle while your are distracted, talking on your mobile, earphones in etc.
Getting In Your Vehicle
Get in to your vehicle in the correct way.
Leave any bags on the ground by the boot before you get any kids in the vehicle.
Get any kids into the vehicle before any adults.
Close any doors immediately after use.
Lock all doors immediately on getting into your vehicle.
Start engine immediately.
Drive off immediately.
Leave any doors open at any time when not in use.
Leave your keys in the ignition if you have to get out of the car for any reason.
Take time to adjust any mirrors, seats etc.
Ladies! Don't fix your makeup.
Wind your windows down.
Open doors or windows if someone approaches and speaks to you.
If in any doubt drive off and then put your seat belt on.
Driving Your Vehicle
Leave enough space so you can see the tyres of the vehicle in front of you if have to stop.
Drive with both hands in the correct position on the steering wheel.
Check parked cars/pedestrians when at vulnerable points.
Check vehicles behind you on pulling off.
Use vehicle hands free system for your mobile phone.
If using a manual system, leave the vehicle in first gear while at vulnerable points.
If you are in a country where you are allowed to carry firearms, make sure it is easily accessible while in the driving seat.
Have your windows wound down.
Have your music playing too loudly.
Have valuables on show.
Bumper to bumper in a traffic jam.
Parking Your Vehicle
Park in well lit areas if at all possible.
Reverse into the parking area/drive way/garage so you are facing the way you will drive.
Stop and check the area from inside the vehicle before parking.
Leave enough room to access the boot and check behind the vehicle on your return.
If parking next to a curb, leave around 1ft from the curb free.
Park face into a parking area.
Park in too tight a space. Leave enough room to easily get in/out and around your vehicle.
Park where you can easily be blocked in. By accident or on purpose.
Have favourite parking spots at places you frequently visit.
Turn the engine off until you know it is safe to do so.
Getting out of your vehicle
Get out of your vehicle the correct way, the same as you got in.
Adults get out first then any bags and then kids last.
Leave your headlights on until the last minute in dark areas, torch on before headlights off.
Look around the immediate area before you get out.
Get out of the vehicle until you think it is safe to do so.
All get out at the same time.
Get out in dark areas without turning your torch on first.
Don't let kids open their vehicle doors before you get out.
Leaving Your Vehicle
Lock your vehicle as soon as you are ready to walk away from it.
Keep your keys in your hand as you walk away from your vehicle
Have a cut off line.
Keep checking the area during and after each event.
Lock your vehicle from a distance.
Use your phone or any other distraction until you are away for your vehicle.
Leave valuables that can be easily seen.
Leave paperwork with names and address on it that can be easily seen.
Walk away from your vehicle without checking all doors are closed first.
I have also not mentioned any tactics that you can employ for one parent, two parents, nanny, friends and for different vehicle types and different locations. This is better instructed on a course.
Vehicle security is important, are you getting it right?
Feel free to e-mail me with any questions or if you would like any advice.