Is Finsbury Park a magnet for car thieves? Survey says yes.
By LiseS | Sunday, February 13, 2011, 14:27
A survey by property website FindaProperty found that Finsbury Park is one of the most common places in London for break-ins and thefts from vehicles.
Careful where you park in Finsbury Park - car thieves are on the increase
The research found that wealthy Chelsea was top of the list for vehicle theft (that is, criminals actually driving off with a car) and that Belgravia headed the league for vehicle break-ins, but Finsbury Park was runner up in the list of thefts from cars.
As the owner of a car that was twice broken into last year (both times through the rear passenger window, which had to be replaced, and both times with nothing of any value in the car which made the events somehow more irritating) I find this list far from surprising.
Car thieves seem to be busy even on our well-lit residential streets, in both professional and opportunist operations. It's certainly a factor that pushed up my premium when I moved to the area - the N4 postcode seems to be well-known to car insurers.
With car thieves so prevalent in the locality, what can be done to prevent a break-in? Tips include keeping valuables hidden and removing the car stereo overnight; using a stoplock when parking (Homebase has one for £30); etching the vehicle identification number (VIN) onto windows and doors to discourage professional thieves; or installing a car alarm (try Finsbury Car Audio on Blackstock Road).
Remember to remove anything that might appear valuable, even if it isn't - a thief doesn't know if your laptop bag doesn't actually contain a laptop until they've broken in to find out. If you have one, it's wise to take your SatNav out of the car, and to remove the telltale circle left by the suction mount, each time you park.
Parking in a well-lit area makes sense, as does parking in a busier area with plenty of people around. If you're lucky enough to have a garage or off-street parking, use it as it's less inviting to thieves. If you're not a driver, bicycles also benefit from secure locks and well-chosen parking spots.
Have you been the victim of a car theft or theft from a vehicle? Do you have other theft-avoidance tips to share? Let us know below!
Image: Jesse Bikman