Received a letter from the DVLA.... - smokie
I received a one page letter this week, in a DVLA envelope. There are six paragraphs so here is just some of the detail:

A car park attendant or local warden noticed that I had left some belongings on view in my car. Leaving anything on display presents an opportunity for car thieves. The letter goes on to offer helpful advice about not leaving things on display, and makeing sure I lock the car.

The letter was accompanied by leaflet containing further security tips.

It's signed by the Chairman of the Vehicle Crime Reduction Action Team based in Marsham Street London, who I can phone, write to or email with any queries, and yet more helpful advice can be found at

I'm so glad I received this, I am a new man now. I would strongly recommend that everybody leaves something on sight in their car to ensure that they don't miss out on this invaluable recycling bin filler.

Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Waino
This is an example of the money raised from speed cameras being put to good use ;-)
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Altea Ego
Thanks smokie, no one ever writes to me (apart from barclaycard), I feel so lonely. I shall leave something on display so I can get a personal letter.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - JH
and a broken window :-(
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Aprilia
Its a good idea.

Lots of people still leave valuables on open display in their cars.

Car gets broken into; police get called; police can't do anything so owner complains about the police; insurance claim made; insurance premiums go up for all of us, including those who use a bit of sense and lock stuff in the boot.
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Adam {P}
I shouldn't worry JH - even if RF leaves his most expensive jacket on show, I can't think of one person who'd want to be seen stealing it - let alone wearing it.
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Hamsafar
Safe....under the watchful eyes....?
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - bell boy
i cant give a better answer than aprillia gave, i replaced a side glass in a clio this week because some toerag wanted an easy way in.
I still dont understand why people dont have 'a bedtime routine' when it comes to leaving unattended cars ie look from a scroats point of view and is there anything on view a local fence will give him £5 for that will do £20 in the pub tonight
Rap on knuckles from me smokie,i would be ashamed to get such a letter and then have the nerve to talk about junk mail,consider sending it to your insurer with the same reply as on here.
We all should make our contributions to lowering crime ,i do daily.
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - tr7v8
Sorry my response is the same, what would you have preferred a letter from the DVLA or half a house brick & a side window in bits on the drivers seat? If people are dim enough to leave stuff on view then they ought to think themselves lucky to get a letter from the DVLA.
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - madf

If people are dim enough to leave stuff on view then they ought to think themselves lucky to get a letter from the DVLA."
I agree

and I could add a corollary :

but why bother as they are too lazy to remove stuff where iit could be stolen but then post on a BB to complain!

Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Pugugly {P}
Agree with oldman and the others. I live in a touristy area, these people come here on holiday, leave their sat navs with big "steal me" labels on then thinking it's a rural idyll with no crime. My insurance goes up because of this ! Adam around her ethey would nick RF's jacket just to check out the pockets for money/keys/phone.!
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - cockle {P}
One of the best initiatives I've come across was Derbyshire Police, IIRC in conjunction with an Ins Co, who had free bright yellow cardboard strips available at all the Tourist Information offices with something along the lines of 'Don't bother, all valuables removed from car'.
Had a two-fold effect, highlighted to us grockles that although Derbyshire might seem a nice crime free rural idyll, but, that in reality it is close enough to the major cities for their scrotes to fancy a nice little trip in the country to harvest the crops from the tourist car parks, and , secondly; advertisd to the scrotes that said grockles had been warned and there was no point smashing their way in, so go and try somewhere else.
Don't know how effective it was ultimately but certainly brought it home to me that I was leaving stuff around the car that I wouldn't dream of at home.
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - pmh
The Vehicle Crime Reduction Action Team is not part of the DVLA, despite the fact that the correspondence was received in a DVLA envelope.

Is this a valid use of the private data held by the DVLA?
Does the Data Protection Act apply in these circumstances, or can Government Departments make use of information across departmental boundaries without restrictions. If I remember correctly, police forces allegedly could not even transfer information between forces about the perpetrators at Soham.


pmh (was peter)

Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Lud
What were the belongings left on view smokie? A laptop and a mink coat or a shabby donkey jacket and a pair of old wellingtons?
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Cliff Pope
It sounds a good idea on the face of it, until you reflect on all the really important and useful things that aren't done because of lack of money.

It makes me want to try deliberately leaving increasingly absurd things on view in order to see what the Crime Protection people make of them. Perhaps if I left a 4 foot pike in the rear window I'd get a letter saying "Dear Sir, it is inadvisable to leave a fish on view in a car ..."

Or what about a stuffed baby elephant, or a prize-winning marrow, or even a small weapon of mass destruction?
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Altea Ego
Whos had my Armani jacket?
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - storme
what sort of prat leaves anything on show in their car anyway???

i wont even stick on a sticky pad for my inforad gps unit..because it makes it so obvious that i have something in there..

well done DVLA for doing something telling dopey car drivers how easy it would have been for a thief to rob the said vehicle.

its only common sense but most people would rather waste time arguing why they are allowed to leave stuff in the vehicle,rather than just accept how stupid they were

Im glad the DVLA our spending my money like this rather than doing nothing
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - storme
Im glad the DVLA "are" spending my money like this rather than doing nothing

wheres the edit button!!!!
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - GregSwain
Im glad the DVLA "are" spending my money like this
rather than doing nothing
wheres the edit button!!!!

Should've been "is" anyway! ;-)
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Pugugly {P}
s this a valid use of the private data held by the DVLA?

Yes - it probably has a Police element within the "Team" and datashare is allowed (S115 Crime and DIsorder Act 1998). The Soham issue has absolutly no connection with this type of datashare, very different.

Government Departments make use of information across departmental boundaries without restrictions

No - there are restrictions.
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Pugugly {P}
What winds me up is when people get there cars broken into they whine then about the Police doing nothing. Of course "victims" have no responsibility for anything all they expect to be nannyed from the cradle to the grave and blame everyone else for trying to do something. Most car crime is preventable, crime costs - The cost and misery to the victims, the cost to the taxpayer in car park security, the cost to individuals in increased insurance, legal aid, court time.....and before you start saying the never get caught obviously all the scrawny, ashen, spotted thieves I saw in Court last week are jobless actors on a work creation scheme funded by the Home Office. (none were wearing an Armani jacket RF but I'll keep my eyes open)

So there. (said he when he left his iPod in his car when at the theatre last night....)
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Waino
I wonder if you'd get 'a letter' if you pulled the tonneau cover over the cargo space in an estate. This seems to be an even greater invitiation to have a brick through the window than leaving something on display.

I frequently have to abandon my estate car in the wilds whilst working, leaving spare boots, wellies, coat (definately not Armani!) etc on view. I wouldn't dream of using the tonneau.
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Westpig
it's a police initiative in conjunction with others inc DVLA, because car crime (fed largely by sat nav theft) has gone through the roof.

PCSOs on patrol are tasked with recording the registration numbers of cars displaying valuable items. This list is then forwarded to DVLA for them to send the letter. Police could do it, because they have the same info on the Police National Computer, but DVLA were willing and it saves police resources.

It was not thought appropriate for a PCSO to carry a leaflet and leave on the car, because it would advertise to all and sundry, from a distance, which car had something in it. The same thing applies to a 'fake' parking ticket which has Home Office advice in it on sat nav threat i.e. don't leave the holder in the car and wipe away the sucker marks, etc. This is being gradually withdrawn, again because the 'oiks' will get to know which car has something potentially interesting in it.

Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Hamsafar
Well, I don't entirely agree with victims being made to feel in the wrong. There are places in this country where you can leave whatever you like wherever you like and nobody is likely to steel it, and you don't have the worry if you do decide to leave it there. The state should increase the pressure on the criminals, not the victims. We are all aware of the Dont leave keys in car, which became don't leave keys in your hall, which became take keys to bed which after people now get stabbed in bed becomes the status quo. I find it offensive that I can't walk in public without the government ticking me off for using a mobile phone and encouraging robbers.
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Westpig
valid point, but you've got to take sensible precautions to look after your hard earnt stuff haven't you....if through forgetfulness or ignorance you leave stuff worth nicking in your it so wrong for someone else to point it out to you, to try to prevent crime (and your loss).......
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Mookfish
Nothing wrong with them writing to you about this in my opinion. A good reminder really because we can all be forgetful at times, the other week I accidently left my mp3 player and phone on the passenger seat despite normally being very carful not to leave anything on show.

What I do object to is the don't advertise your car to criminals adverts as I am convinced the lowlifes see them as advice for them, ie no front on the stereo? break in anyway as its probably in the glovebox. Happened to me just after they started showing that ad, car was broken into, radio hanging out by wires, glove box forced open and emptied (it did tend to stick closed) and they stole a pair of broken sunglasses. The radios front panel was actualy in SWMBO's handbag in our bedroom.
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Stuartli
We've had a story in the local paper this week about a family whose old banger was stolen from their driveway ovrnight and the fact that they would now have difficulty in taking the kids to school and getting to work.


Not really. They'd left about £30 to £40 in the car (they were unsure of the amount), the husband's work tools and other items of reasonable value.

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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - smokie
A bit late replying - there is often an old jackets or two lying on the back seat, some of thiose clip in holders for iPod and mobile and some phone etc chargers somewhere between the front seats. And of course the tell tale Rings of Satnav on the windscreen.

Nothing of any real value, but I suppose there's a lot of implication there. While I know that the expensive gizmos associated with them are not in the car (usually), Mr Scroat doesn't..

Point taken everyone, I will take better precautions in future...
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - moonshine

Yet again the onus is being put on the law abiding people. What's next? - "it's your own fault your car was stolen because you didn't park in an approved underground bunker". Obviously we should all do what we can to prevent crime, but how about a little more effort on treating the root cause rather than the symptom?

I would rather see the money spent on putting more police on the beat (even PCSO would do).
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - cheddar
While in principal I agree with Aprilia's earlier post I am uncomfortable with the ongoing move towards the victim's culpability. Already my motorcycle policy excess is doubled if it is stolen from home while not in the locked garage, not a big excess so not a big issue though why should I not be able to park it in my drive with the steering lock applied and no keys in sight without being perceived as having some liability if some toerags lift into into the back of a van?

Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Cliff Pope
I think it's all part of a general trend amongst insurance companies. They are forgetting that the essence of insurance is uncertainty. Minimising risk by accurate profiling of customers is OK up to a point, but if they achieved their apparent ideal of perfect forecasting of claim risk then there would be no purpose any longer in having insurance companies.
If people can be so accurately tested that you know which are going to die early, and which live to 93, then half the population will be uninsurable and the other half won't need life insurance.
If the companies really think it is in their long-term interests to move this way, then you just have to play their game. Don't leave anything of value in the car, visible or not, and don't have a car worth stealing. Drive an old banger that's not worth insuring for theft anyway, and just leave the doors unlocked. Why pay hundreds of pounds for car insurance when you can buy anothert car for £100?
Our office contents insurance has now gone so high, with more restrictions, conditions, and intruder alarm upgradings required, that we are seriously considering not bothering to insure the contents at all, and simply saving the premiums.
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - greenhey
I see no problem with DVLA doing this . Probably costs at most a couple of pounds.
Compare that with the cost of dealing with a break -in, police paperwork, insurance , most probably window repair, etc.
Earlier this year I parked my car in the carpark of a hotel in York, shortly before 7pm . It was against a wall, but as the car park was pretty full, between rather than under a light. I had only recently been given a Tomtom, and remembered to take it out, but foolishly left the mount in the windscreen.
By 730 the side window had been smashed .The thieves had assumed I had put the Tomtom in my glove box, so opened that looking for it, then run off .
They broke into another vehicle as well, also after a satnav.
The copper who came said it was now the most common crime on his night-shift , Tomtoms are a lot more saleable than mobile phones. Even taking off the mount leaves the telltale rings on the windscreen.
I had to stay up unitl 1am to get a (temporary) window repair, as the damage had bent the window lift mechanism. I then had an insurance claim, £100 excess to pay and the loss of the car for a day to repair.
This was an expensive lesson and if DVLA had made the point beforehand I would have truly valued it .Not to mention thinking the parking attendant had a more positive view of his job than they are generally assumed to have.
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Gromit {P}
To give the DVLA their due, this scheme should prove very cost effective. Lets say the circular Smokie got cost 50p to print and mail.

If just one in 1000 reminds someone not to leave their ipod/coat/parking meter change on view and stops the car being borken into, they're already well on the way to offsetting the cost of police time, a replacement window, your time in replacing that window, the increased insurance premium etc.

Besides, sensible people can be absent minded too - not just nitwits like my former housemate who left her phone, ipod and handbag in the car while she went for a walk. (Not only was the car broken into and the contents of the back seat lifted, but her house keys and gas bill with the address on went too, adding the cost of new locks to the tally.)

Me? I'd sooner have a reminder in the post!
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - Westpig
Some companies are woefully lacking in helping their well known hotel (part of a chain) near here regularly gets hit for sat nav thefts...........because people from parts of the country who do not have this sort of problem turn up and park their car in their car park, blissfully unaware of the risks..... the car park has only a 2 foot high wall around it, but needs a 6 foot fence instead.

hotel chain is not willing to cough up for the fence and is not willing for anti-crime posters or leaflets when people check-in as it will potentially scare away the customers.........

So Master Oik from the local estate can just nip over the low wall and steal to his hearts content.
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - storme
going back to moonshines comment... yes!!!! how many people have a garage and fill it with rubbish, when at night they could park the car in it..

a garage is for a car,,not an overflow extension of the bin/shed :)
Received a latter from the DVLA.... - none
Twenty odd years ago I used to live in a very quite grove with no passing traffic or hooligans. At the time I had a 'nearly classic' old Hillman with a key that only worked the ignition lock. I used to lock all of the doors from the inside and leave the drivers door unlocked. I never had any problems in the year or so I 'nearly restored' it until one morning I found a note pushed through the letterbox.
"WPC so and so had found my car unlocked, if anything is missing or stolen, please report." The WPC had also locked the car for me using the internal button.
It took me half an fiddling about with a wire coathanger before I could get to work that morning.
I would happily pay more income tax for a return to those days of proper policing.

Ask Honest John

Value my car