§ Mr. Haselhurst
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has assessed whether the development of electronic anti-theft systems for cars has reached the point in cost and effectiveness at which he will consider legislation to make their installation mandatory.
§ Mr. Atkins
Every new car sold in Britain since 1978 has had to have a steering lock. Britain has developed, in co-operation with manufacturers, new standards to improve car locks and to shield window mechanisms We are pressing for these to be adopted in the EC.
Many cars are also fitted with alarm systems. The variations in their design and location contribute to their effectiveness. The greater standardisation likely to result from obligatory installation might diminish that effectiveness. Moreover, there is a growing volume of complaints about the environmental effects of alarms set off with no apparent attempt at theft.
Parking sensibly, locking up carefully and avoiding leaving valuables in view are all strong deterrents to thieves.