Yorkshire-based Bike Technology Company Launches New Division
York, UK. 7th May 2017 : York-based Fyrdraca, supplier of motorbike tracking and alarm solutions, recently announced its expansion into the commercial van market wthrough its ‘Dakkara’ division.
Ask any fleet operator whether LCV theft is on the rise, and the chances are they’ll tell you it is. Sometimes it can feel like it’s a full-time job preventing thieves from walking off with vans, tools and catalytic converters. Official figures are hard to obtain as the Crime Survey for England and Wales does not provide details of make or model in its vehicle theft statistics. However, overall vehicle thefts statistics, occasional specialist reports and anecdotal evidence all supports the notion that LCV theft is on the increase.
The Crime Survey figures reveal that most vehicle theft takes place in residential areas. This is backed up by a separate Police Research Group report which found that 66% of vans were stolen from these places, with 12% going missing from industrial estates and 10% from shopping areas. The same report found that 64% of LCVs were stolen at night and on week days, with thefts dropping off during the weekend. Over the last decade there has also been a significant drop in the number of criminals breaking windows and forcing locks to steal vehicles. Instead there has been a dramatic rise in offenders using a key — up from 9% in 1995 to 55% in 2015. This is almost certainly due to the easy availability of computer software that allows the thieves to clone the vehicle’s electronic key and drive off. Many LCVs are stolen to order, and they can end up anywhere in the world within a matter of hours or days. In 2015 only 30% of all stolen vehicles were returned to their owners — compared to 61% in 1997.
If you own a van for commercial use, one of the biggest fears is the likelihood of theft, or of someone breaking in to steal goods or equipment. Vehicle criminals always focus for soft targets that might offer high reward. The combination of valuable tools and poor security measures make van theft a tempting a choice for the determined criminal.
The overall cost of commercial vehicle and tool theft on the economy is staggering. Small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy and this type of crime can literally bring such organisations to their knees, resulting in a loss of income and in more extreme cases the failure of the entire business. There are additional ‘soft’ costs too, such as disruption for the general public when these businesses are unable to provide their regular services.
What Measures Can Be Taken To Combat Van Theft?
The ‘Van and Tool Theft Awareness Group’ was established by Spencer Hargrave and Paul Butterfield. Both gentlemen have a background as builders and were keen to set up a forum that would offer impartial advice on vehicle security and other anti-theft measures. The Group highlight that there are number of ways that van owners can beat the thieves. These methods fall into three broad categories, with all will making the van more secure and lowering insurance premiums.
Deterrence– putting the van out of harm’s way, or making it a less appetising prospect for potential thieves. The driver should always lock the van’s doors and close the windows even if away from the vehicle for a short time. Spencer Hargrave states: “Don’t leave any valuables such as phones or sat-navs visible, and definitely never leave the keys in the van. Whenever possible, remove tools, stock and other equipment from the van, especially when leaving it overnight. Visible security features can be a strong deterrent to theft or break-in, so consider steering or handbrake locks, and mesh grilles on load-bay windows.”
Security– making your van sufficiently secure that thieves won’t be able to break in, even if they try. Tried and tested methods and products include immobilisers, alarms, deadlocks, slam locks, armaplate, secure van boxes etc.
Recovery– taking steps to ensure you get your van and its contents back even if it does get stolen. The statistics on recovery rates have already been highlighted above. Put simply, police resources are ever-more stretched and vehicle recovery can often be lower down on the list of crime types that are deemed urgent. The Van and Tool Theft Awareness Group have long recognised the benefit that the fitting of tracking devices can bring in aiding the prospect of vehicle recovery. As such, they are continually evaluating new devices and new suppliers in order to make solid recommendations to their members and the public. One member, David Jones of 666 Logistics Ltd, was an existing user of the Fyrdraca motorcycle tracking solution and immediately recognised that this type of device would be of interest to Spencer and Paul.
The Story Continues: The Development of the Ultimate Van Tracking Device
Paul Butterfield takes up the story: “When David approached us with the Fyrdraca solution we immediately saw there was a system that could make a difference to our group and protect tradesmens tools. As tradesmen ourselves we ideally wanted a partner to listen to the specifics of what we needed. If that supplier was willing to take our input and mould it into an enhanced or new product then that was doubly exciting. Richard Holmes of Fyrdraca came to us with a very open mind and we participated in a number of detailed discussion sessions.”
Richard Homes (co-founder of Fyrdraca) elaborates: “Spencer and Paul’s work in understanding not only the impact of theft but also how thieves by-pass ‘standard fit’ security devices is staggering. The level of detailed information they provided us on the vulnerabilities of individual van makes and the methods thieves use to by-pass the security gave us the basis of a design brief, on to which we could impose our own experience and technical expertise. We took the proven Fw3 system that already protects cars, campers and motorcycles and looked at how we could tailor a solution to the very specific needs of the commercial van user”.
Over several months, the ‘FW3+’ was developed. The system is completely independent of any standard fit security systems that pre-exist within the vehicle. The cheap tools thieves buy from online auction sites, which are designed to by-pass the security of a commercial van, have no impact on the operation of the ‘FW3+’.
FW3+ : A PROVEN security enhancement
The FW3+ uses GPS and GPRS technology to maintain real-time data on the location and status of the vehicle. The vehicle owner can be remote in any location (sat in a hotel room, a pub or in front of the TV, or perhaps even working!) and the FW3+ will advise on where the van is as well as the status of the sensors such as the door alert, vibration and ignition. In a potential theft situation, such as the door being ‘peeled’ or a tool being used to by-pass the standard lock, the unit will send the owner a number of alerts. The vibration sensors of the FW3+ are designed to pick up the initial physical attack on the vehicle, whilst the door sensors pick up the opening and damaging of the vehicle doors. The FW3 can be armed and disarmed by either remote key fob or via a SMS smart phone.
A huge part of the Fyrdraca development ethos is to only supply products and solutions that are genuinely ‘fit for purpose’. This always entails extensive testing of any newly developed device. In the case of the FW3+ , the company were able to use both its own vehicles and those of the 666 Logistics fleet for a trial which was overseen by the Van and Tool Theft Awareness Group. The results were impressive as Spencer Hargrave comments “We tested the system in real world situations. We used the key to lock and unlock the van and to start it and the FW3+ was never fooled. It alerted us to the door being opened, when the van started and when the van moved. We could track and pinpoint from our phone exactly where the van was via a Google map link. We even tried disconnecting the test vans battery, but the system alerted us on that too!”
The Way Forward: The Formation of Dakkara
Richard Holmes was delighted by the results of the FW3+ trial and recognises the huge potential that the device has to resolve a significant criminal issue. He comments further: “This is a prime example of business, a public awareness group and a technology company working closely together. The FW3 + is a direct result of Spencer and Pauls work and Dave’s experience as a manager of a van fleet. The whole process was a group effort. Spencer and Paul should be commended and be proud of the amazing work they do to combat and raise awareness of this type of crime. I recognise that the needs of commercial van users are very specific and distinct from our other user requirements, such as motorcyclists, pushbike owners or caravan enthusiasts. For this reason, we have launched the Van System through or Car , Van Camper and Trailer division ‘Dakkara’. The division has its own website (www.dakkara.co.uk) where van owners can view more on the technical details of the product. We look forward to ensuring that it’s the owner of the commercial van that enjoys the fruits of their hard labour ….and not the thief.”
Dakkara is an organisation founded by technology enthusiast Richard Holmes to develop and promote innovative tracking and anti-theft solutions for vans and other modes of transport. Van theft is another unfortunate fact of modern life and police forces no longer have the resources to aid recovery. Dakkara offer robust, high quality, and effective GPS tracking units that maximise the possibility of van recovery in the event of theft.
The Fw3+ Van system is now available through Dakkara and the Van and Tool theft awareness group. The System is fully installed anywhere in the UK by our engineers. Whilst the tradesman is on site our team will install the FW3+ and secure there tools and their van …. Giving you ‘security under our wing’.
More details on Dakkara’s product range can be found at www.dakarra.co.uk .
Press Contact: Richard Holmes, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Spencer Hargrave https://www.facebook.com/groups/237316223346467/