People heading out in their car to enjoy a picnic at a local beauty spot during National Picnic Week (which runs from 11th – 19th June) should make sure they lock valuable items away and out of sight of opportunist thieves warns insurer NFU Mutual. After a spate of thefts from cars parked at beauty spots across the UK, many regional police forces have issued warnings to motorists and NFU Mutual has revealed that its own claims data showed that thefts from cars rose by 16% between 2014 and 2015.

Commenting on the subject, Nicki Whittaker, a High Value Home Specialist at NFU Mutual said: “During National Picnic Week many people will be shaking out their picnic rugs and heading off to beauty spots across the UK to dine alfresco with families. Unfortunately, while they are away from their vehicles, any valuable items left on display may fall prey to opportunist thieves and we want to remind people to remove these items or lock them away.”

According to NFU Mutual, the items most commonly stolen from cars are handbags, phones, satnavs, items of clothing and bikes.

To help people avoid falling victim to ‘pic-nickers’ NFU Mutual has produced the following list of security tips:

  • Never leave valuable items in your car – check that children haven’t left phones or other items on the back seats of the car;
  • If you use a portable satnav device, remove the device and its holder before leaving the vehicle – if necessary, lock it in the glove compartment or in the boot;
  • Remember that satnav holders often leave tell-tale marks on the windscreen. It helps to carry some window wipes in the car so you can remove these marks before you leave the car;
  • It sounds silly but double check that you’ve locked the car and that all the windows and sunroof are closed;
  • Don’t leave cash, credit cards, chequebooks, mobile phones or other valuables in the car. Even a jacket or a plastic bag can tempt a thief. Hide any valuables in the boot of your car before you start your journey.