The effectiveness of car tracking technology in preventing and recovering car thefts
GPS car trackers can be an effective way to prevent and recover car thefts as they are able to deter thieves by making it more difficult to steal a car as well as to help recover a stolen car by providing the police with location data. Depending on how technologically sophisticated the tracker is, location data can be obtained from basic systems which require the user to send an SMS text to the unit to get the coordinates messaged back. To systems that can automatically report location data back to a customer portal at varying frequencies from once a day to real-time.
Once installed, here are some of the ways that GPS car trackers can help prevent and recover car thefts:
- They can deter thieves by making it more difficult to steal a car. Top of the range car trackers have built in immobilisers that prevent the engine from running and therefore stop the car from being taken in the first place.
- They can provide the police and possibly in-house Repatriation Teams with real-time location data. This information can then be used to track down a stolen car and recover it. In many instances, vehicles are recovered within hours, saving owners undue prolonged stress and anxiety.
- They can help to identify thieves. If a stolen car is recovered, the tracker can provide law enforcement with information about the thief, such as their location and their driving patterns. Identification and apprehension would also result in decreased vehicle thefts in the wider community if more thieves were given custodial sentences and taken off the streets.
Overall, GPS car trackers can be a very effective way to prevent and recover car thefts. If after reading the above points you have now decided that it would be a good idea to have a GPS tracker in your car, here are some additional tips for choosing and using a car tracker.
- Choose a unit that is well-hidden and think about whether you want a tracker that is installed into the car and draws power from the electrical system or if a self-sustaining battery powered tracker would suit your needs better.
- Keep the tracker's serial number and other identifying information in a safe place.
- It is important to have a plan for how you will use the tracker in the event that your car is stolen. Akin to fire drills, play out in your mind and write down the steps that you need to take should your car be taken.
- As you would with smoke alarms, test the tracker regularly to make sure that it is working properly.
- If your car is stolen, report it to the police immediately and provide them with the tracker's serial number.
- Decide whether a self-monitored tracker system would be sufficient protection or if it is worth you paying a subscription to have a 24/7 monitored Thatcham Certified tracker which are more effective than non-certified trackers.
Thatcham is a UK-based organization that tests and certifies vehicle security products. The Thatcham Security Certification process is rigorous and ensures that the products meet high standards of security and effectiveness. These standards typically include factors such as the accuracy of location tracking, the reliability of communication systems and the robustness of the tracking device itself.
By using a combination of GPS (Global Positioning System) and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) technologies, Thatcham Certified devices can much more accurately pinpoint the stolen vehicle in real time and transmit the information to a Monitoring Centre who are then able to coordinate with the relevant authorities to recover the stolen vehicle.
A study by Thatcham Research found that cars fitted with Thatcham approved trackers were 5 times less likely to be stolen than cars without trackers. The study also found that stolen cars with these trackers installed were recovered 95% of the time.
While Thatcham certified trackers can be highly effective in preventing and recovering car thefts, it's important to note that no security measure is completely foolproof. Determined thieves may employ sophisticated methods to disable or circumvent the tracker. However, Thatcham certification ensures that the tracker has met certain industry standards and is generally considered to be a reliable and effective theft deterrent.
It's worth mentioning that the effectiveness of a tracker also depends on how quickly the theft is reported, the responsiveness of the Monitoring Centre and the cooperation of the police. Timely action and collaboration are crucial in increasing the chances of recovering a stolen vehicle.
If you're considering installing a Thatcham certified tracker, it's advisable to research specific models and consult with professionals in the field who can provide more detailed information and reco