Empowering the community.
As caravan and motorhome enthusiasts, we know the importance of investing in good quality security devices such as wheel locks and alarms, but good as these are, thefts still happen and when they do, many vans are never seen again. One reason for this is that, apart from your number plate, one van looks very like another on the road, replace this and your van’s virtually invisible. A few of us may have made subtle modifications or applied custom decals that add a bit of individuality that can help you recognise your own van but they’re meaningless to anyone else. If you want your stolen van recovered then you have to:
- quickly make as many people as possible aware of its theft,
- give them some way to recognise it as your van, not a similar one.
- provide an efficient method for them to reporting any sightings.
You can be fairly certain the police won’t go hunting for a stolen van described as “a white Bailey Pegasus with red and black stripes“, there are literally thousands of vans matching that description in the UK and they can’t possibly check them all. The one thing that would have identified it as your van was the registration number but that is the first thing a thief will have changed.
With CID membership, your van will have a unique, highly visible and not so easily removed ID number on the rear, roof and windows that not only identifies the van but enables anyone to check if it’s been stolen. Even if it has not been reported, looking up the ID will show if it should be on the road, and for caravans, what vehicles are authorised to tow it. An unlisted tow vehicle will be more than sufficient for the police to take interest and make further inquiries. But why leave recovery purely with our under-resourced, over-worked police? Couldn’t we help there too?
Broaden the thin blue line.
Based on 2019 official figures there are 140,000 police officers in the UK. About 3% (4200) are assigned to dedicated road policing duties. These are split into four working shifts, so there are an estimated 1050 on duty at any time (less absence, annual leave, court or escort duties etc).
In the same period the NCC estimated there were 555,000 touring caravans and 225,000 motorhomes in use in the UK, making a combined total of 780,000. If just one in four of us were out and about, that would be 195,000, or 185 of us to every one traffic officer. Whether a member or not, CID aims to encourage a real community spirit among all caravan and motorhome owners by enabling anyone with a connected smartphone or tablet to check a CID registration and report suspicious activities. The more people participating in the CID community, the more successful we will be in recovering vans and catching thieves.
Be seen, be secure.
Membership is available to anyone who owns a caravan, motor home or trailer for recreational purposes. When you join you will be asked to provide us with essential information about yourself, your van and in the case of caravans, the vehicles that you’ve authorised to tow it. You will receive a set of 13 tamper proof stickers (3 large, high visibility, 10 smaller and more discreet window stickers) and a membership ID card. In addition, your van will be registered on our database enabling the police, port authorities or any of the 780,00 van owners in the UK to quickly check if it’s been reported stolen, or in the case of a caravan, being towed by an authorised vehicle.
The rear Decal is ideally placed high on the right, rear of the caravan or motorhome where it’s difficult to access but clearly visible to anyone nearby or following in another vehicle.
The individual numbers of the sticker are slightly raised making them difficult to hide by painting or covering and highly reflective for visibility at night.
If we all adopt the recommended location, we know exactly where to look for the ID or for signs that it’s been covered or tampered with. Any other sticker in this location is very unusual.
The largest decal is applied to the roof of your van where it is out of normal sight. It will however be very visible from the air, by CCTV operators, safety cameras or to police patrols parked on flyovers or other vantage points.
The roof is one area of a van that’s often overlooked or ignored by thieves due to difficulty accessing it. What’s more, the supersize sticker will be very difficult to remove or cover.
The Windscreen Decal is displayed on the nearside of the motorhome or tow car’s windscreen effectively pairing the tow vehicle to the trailer. It doesn’t have to be stuck to the glass, just placed where it is visible. This will make it easy to transfer if you have more than one tow vehicle registered.
The remaining, smaller stickers are placed on the inside of each van window. The window stickers are designed to be unobtrusive yet easy to read from outside. Anyone hoping to remove them will first have to get inside the van then deal with six separate stickers on each window. Not something that can be done quickly.
You now have 13 potentially immovable and easy to read points of identification comprising of 72 separate stickers on your van that don’t involve crawling around looking for chassis numbers that you can’t check even if you do find them. No, stickers wont stop the van from physically being stolen, that’s what your wheel and hitch locks are for, but they’ll definitely put potential thieves off choosing your van and vastly increase the chance of it being spotted and recovered should it be taken.
Remember, the only identifying mark normally on a van is the number plate that’s swapped in seconds. Unless there is something ‘distinctive’ about your van it becomes just another one on the road and ignored. Even if your van does stand out, people need to know its been stolen and what to look for. We ‘normal people’ don’t have the ability to check a chassis number but we will be able to spot and check a CID number quickly and for free.
We will be adding VIN / Chassis number lookups soon !
Once added to our database, anyone can visit the CID website, type in your ID and check the status of your van, It’s quick and absolutely free. The information they see is what ‘you’ want to show, what’s more, you can update it in real-time whenever you choose.
We are actively encouraging the police, port authorities and other interested parties to make use of our database to identify and recover stolen vans. No complicated or expensive and very rare scanning equipment will be required, just a quick and free CID lookup on any internet connected device.
In addition to the decal pack, ID card and inclusion in our database, CID members will have free access to a secure portal where you can update your information in real-time, for example:
- Changing your contact details,
- Adding and removing authorised tow vehicles,
- providing Information about the use of or restrictions on your van.
All personal information will be held completely separately in compliance with the UK’s data protection regulations (including GDPR). It will NOT be shared with or sold to ANYONE without your written consent.
YOU will have total control of what information will appear on the public lookups. You can of course amend or delete it yourself at anytime. See the LOOKUP PAGE for examples of public facing information.
How much does CaravanID cost?
Compared to many deterrents or of course the loss of your van and its contents, very little indeed. The price includes the members decal pack, ID card and inclusion on our database for as long as you own the van.* There are no hidden or recurring charges, just a one off payment and you’re protected.
* If you decide to change your caravan or motorhome in the future, you have the option to transfer your ID to the new owner or to your new van. In either case a transfer charge will apply. Currently these charges are:
- Transfer to new owner £25 – includes database update and new ID card.
- Transfer to new van £55 – includes new decal pack, ID card and database update.
The more of us that join the CID community, the more effective it will be in preventing thefts and recovering those that are taken. You don’t need to be a member to look up and report a van but as a member, you’ll enjoy the protection of the community too. Having established CID here in the UK we will be extending the service into mainland Europe bringing even more people into the community, making it even harder for the thieves, wherever they go.
Why should anyone take CID seriously?
CaravanID’s founder is a former police officer but more importantly, he has spent the last 30 years in senior roles managing physical, cyber and information security risk. As a qualified lead auditor, his responsibilities included formal risk assessment, impact analysis, tactical avoidance and detection of security incidents. He is also a proud caravan owner with an investment to protect. Aware of the growing problem of van thefts in the UK and the fact that so few are recovered, he was persuaded to apply his experience and devise a solution, That solution is CaravanID.
CID is intended to be more than a visual deterrent to thieves. It introduces a much needed method of identifying and checking caravans and motorhomes, quickly and for free, A system that will actually catch the thieves and recover stolen vans. We no longer have to rely on a few overworked police officers to spot and recover our vans. As a community of more than 780,000, we can look out for each other. Indeed ‘anyone’ with a mobile phone can check a van they’re suspicious of. Something that simply wasn’t possible before!