There appears to be a significant rise in the number of thefts of golf buggies and/or their batteries from Golf Clubs across the UK. In several instances, the golf buggies were stolen whilst the hirer was taking their shot on the course and also numerous instances where large quantities of batteries have been taken directly from golf buggies often causing extensive damage to them.
It is not completely clear as to why these thefts are occurring however, in the majority of cases it would appear that thieves are trying to remove the lead acid batteries. There is some dispute as to whether these are for re-sale, scrap or as a source of materials for other illegal schemes. Whatever the reason, there is an increase in these type of thefts and anyone who has large amounts of these types of batteries needs to ensure there is adequate security and be aware of the risks.
It is key that such vehicles and their batteries are kept in garages/secure stores built of materials offering a level of theft resistance with suitable physical and electronic security measures in place whilst not in use. Where this is not possible either a secure temporary building/store such as a shipping container should be used. In all cases a high level of physical security should be provided along with remotely monitored alarm systems ideally with detection on doors, vibration detection to all perimeter walls and internal trap protection. However, it is more difficult to provide security advice for losses whilst the buggies are in use. The following could prevent or reduce the likelihood of these types of losses occurring.
1. Make Users Aware
Members and Visitors of the club are to be made aware of the issues being experienced with thefts of golf buggies particularly when in use from across from around the course to make them more vigilant to such offences and the associated issues to them from loss of the vehicle/their possessions from it etc..
2. Course Lay Out
Buggies are to be kept as short a distance from the player/hirer as possible during the game. Course planting around positions known for buggies to frequently stop are to have vegetation reduced in size and height to prevent unauthorised persons using this to hide behind whilst awaiting a robbery.
The easy removal of buggies by use of the keys is to be prevented by one or a combination of the following –
a. Many electric golf buggies are typically pre-installed with keyed start switches straight from the factory and the keys for the buggies are usually generic, which gives thieves an easy access to the golf buggies. One way to prevent golf buggy thefts is to contact a retailer who sells after-market switches and have your buggies switched modified.
b. Keys to the buggies are to be removed from the ignition whenever the buggy is not being sat on/driven by the customer or their hirer. This can be made a condition within the buggy hire document,
4. Buggies Awaiting Hire
Buggies awaiting hire which are held in the open should be positioned so that they are visible to staff/monitored by CCTV. The number held outside should be limited and whilst awaiting hire these vehicles can be fitted with wheel clamps/pedal locks to prevent them from being easily removed.
5. GPS Trackers/Vehicle Telematics
The fitting of these types of device as opposed to just a speed limiter provides additional benefits to just speed limitation as follows –
- Vehicle Tracking in Real Time
- Pace of Play Monitoring
- Two Way Messaging
- Fleet Lockdown
- Action Zone and Message Setup
- Reduce Speeds to prevent users driving in to prohibited areas
- Battery Charge Information
- Usage Reports
- Service/Fault Notifications
If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact your Regional Account Manager or call us on 0141 242 4861.