Keyless car protection in the bag

keyless car key pouch keyless car key pouch

Drivers of keyless cars who live or work in South Derbyshire are being offered a way of protecting their vehicle from theft by the Safer South Derbyshire Partnership.

Nationally there has been a marked increase in the theft of keyless cars, with criminals using what is called a relay system to get into vehicles and start them without needing to use forced entry or a key. There have been several cases in South Derbyshire.

Keyless entry cars allow the driver to unlock and start the car with the key fob still in their pocket.  Only cars with this type of system can be stolen using “relay” equipment.


Relay involves two crooks working together. One stands near to where the key is inside the house. The signal emitted by the key will go through brick, wood and glass, and so they can pick it up using equipment available over the internet. They amplify the key’s signal and push it onto a second box near the car. This tricks the car into thinking the key is nearby, so it unlocks and can be driven away.

To prevent this, keys can be stored in a small bag, called a Faraday bag after the inventor Michael Faraday, through which the signal cannot pass.

The Safer South Derbyshire Partnership has purchased a supply of Faraday bags which it is offering FREE to owners of cars with keyless entry and ignition systems.

The Partnership is working with the police who will contact victims of this type of car theft to offer them one of the bags. Drivers are also welcome to collect one from South Derbyshire District Council’s offices in Swadlincote.  To receive one they simply need to show their keyless ‘key fob’ at reception. They will be handed out on a first come, first served basis.

Anyone who lives outside the Swadlincote area or struggles to get to the offices during opening hours can request one from their local Police Safer Neighbourhood Team by emailing

Commenting, Cllr Martyn Ford, who is Chairman of the Safer South Derbyshire Partnership, said: “The bags are a simple but effective way of preventing this specific offence and we hope drivers of keyless cars in South Derbyshire take advantage of this offer.

“Anyone getting a new car at the beginning of September should be aware of the relay system if they are having a keyless vehicle for the first time.”

As well as using a signal-blocking bag in which to store their key fob, Derbyshire Police advise that as a back-up, drivers of keyless cars should also consider purchasing a steering lock for their vehicle.


8 August 2019