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Carjackings: How to stay safe

Advice from PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie



  • Keep your doors locked.
  • Keep windows closed or partially closed - enough to prevent someone from reaching in and unlocking doors or grabbing items.
  • Do not place items, such as handbags, phones, laptops, in full view on the passenger or back seat. Put them on the floor under your seat, in the glove box, or lock them in the boot.
  • If you are forced to stop abruptly, keep your engine running and make sure you have enough room to drive away.
  • You MUST stop for the police but it's quite reasonable to ask for identification through a closed window and keep the engine running until you are satisfied.
  • Beware of anyone who tries to signal that there's something wrong with your car, unless you know they're right and it is dangerous to drive on.
  • If another driver gets out of their vehicle or pedestrian approaches you and you have concerns about their behaviour, flash your lights and sound your horn.
  • If you have an alarm, set it off.

When parking or returning to a parked car

  • Park in well lit, busy areas or a car park.
  • When approaching your parked vehicle, be alert to anyone hanging around and if necessary walk past your car and report anything suspicious to the police immediately.
  • If your vehicle has an alarm fitted with a panic button and you think you are being approached suspiciously, activate it.
  • As you approach your car have your keys ready, if the car design allows it, unlock the driver's door only and once inside lock your doors.
  • When you stop your vehicle, for example to get fuel or purchase a parking ticket, never leave your keys in the ignition or engine running, and always lock your car.
  • Keep an eye out for fellow motorists and report anything suspicious immediately to the police.

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