Abandoned vehicles are an increasing problem county wide. Some car owners abandon old vehicles without caring for the consequences. This creates an eyesore and can encourage vandalism and arson, endangering lives, property and the environment. The Council considers a car abandoned when no one claims to own it. On average there are 3,500 reported vehicles each year, 1,700 of which are removed for destruction, which costs Somerset residents alone, over £100,000 annually.
Somerset Councils are working together with the police and the fire & rescue service to deal with abandoned vehicles as quickly as possible. We need your help to locate them; cars can be abandoned for a long time before anyone tells us where they are.
Active Prevention Measures:
- Leave your car at night in a well-lit place. Thieves like working in shadows, so avoid poorly lit areas. In a ticket-exit car park, take the ticket with you and always try to use a secured car park.
- Lock and secure all windows and doors.
- Remove the ignition key. Don't leave the key in the ignition, not even for just a few seconds to go into your home, a shop or pay for petrol.
- Keep keys in a secure place both at home and at work Burglars have been known to break into houses and offices just to steal car keys
- Use vehicle security systems (immobiliser, alarm).
- Remove all attractive items from view.
- Lighted areas allow vehicle to be more visible at night.
- Utilise car parks security measures i.e supervision.
Procedures which could be adopted
- Affirm 24hr abandoned vehicle removal scheme (Carclear Schemes).
- Wardens/caretakers/community police to report vehicles direct to abandoned vehicle removal schemes.
- Encourage community to report abandoned vehicles to removal scheme.
- CCTV services to report direct to vehicle removal