Bedfordshire Police have joined forces with National Tyres to keep catalytic converters safe as part of their winter vehicle check service.
Catalytic converters are often targeted by thieves for the small amounts of precious metals they contain.
The Police and National Tyres initiative offers drivers a free security marking etched onto their catalytic converter.
Lesley Johnson, Design Out Crime Officer at Bedfordshire Police, said: “We tend to get a spike of catalytic converter thefts in the winter months, and with the current cost of these metal particles remaining high, this type of theft is very likely to continue.
“By encouraging as many people as we can to get their catalytic converters etched and display warning stickers on the vehicle I am hoping this initiative will prevent further thefts.”
The three centres participating in this scheme can be contacted below:
Whilst the catalytic converter is being etched, National Tyres will register the vehicle details with Smartwater. If the catalytic converter is then stolen and later recovered, police can match it to the vehicle it was taken from.
Initially Japanese cars were the main targets. Now it seems any vehicles with easily accessible catalytic converters are at risk.
Police are asking the public to report thefts to build a picture of which areas are most affected. They have also asked people to report any scrapyard or collections vehicles they suspect may not be acting legally.
How to avoid catalytic converter theft:
- Where possible, park your vehicle in a locked garage, as close to your home as possible or in a parking spot overlooked by residents.
- Consider installing a Thatcham approved alarm. This will activate if the vehicle is lifted or tilted.
- If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it to police. Obtain as much information as possible, including any associated vehicle registrations.