PS on car crime

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So while unusual towing-based car crime HAS gone on in Wanstead (yesterday’s revelation that a Suzuki Jeep was stolen by being towed away), general level of car crime is down in both Wanstead and Snaresbrook wards.

This might have had some bearing on Zipcar’s decision to base two car-hire spots in Wanstead. The deal is that you book a car online, and if it’s available you go to the parking space, unlock it with your phone, start it with a smart card, and return it when you’ve finished.

This will be a useful service for some readers. And if the parking spaces marked “Car Club Only” are actually being used, it will also be a good thing. As very longtime readers of this blog might remember, in 2011 Streetcar (a predecessor of Zipcar’s) decided to withdraw its cars from Wanstead and Snaresbrook, saying:

Unfortunately we have had to withdraw the vehicles from Snaresbrook and Wanstead areas due to a very high volume of attempted break-ins and vandalism with the vehicles. We needed to withdraw these as we could not ensure their safety going forward.

It’s another way in which life in Wanstead is getting better every day. And it’s always a good thing for cars to have safety going forward, though backwards is important too.

One thought on “PS on car crime”

  1. Here’s the real Streetcar story: Streetcar pulled out of Wanstead because Redbridge couldn’t replace the permits quickly enough when the cars were broken in to:

    Each car had a fuel card hidden inside the door hinge. Someone figured out that they could break a window, open the car door and steal the fuel card — which they could use get free fuel. They would also steal the keys to the car (even though the car itself could not be started due to the security system.)

    After a fuel card theft, Streetcar wanted to swap the car with one from another area, so the keys could not be used to steal the replacement fuel card again. However, Redbridge mandated that each Streetcar should have a permit linked with its registration plate. It took many weeks for Redbridge to replace the permit, which meant streetcar could not swap the cars quickly enough to continue providing a service.

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