Car theft capital

Car theft hotspots and rising car crime


Is it safe?

The 80s and 90s saw car thefts rise to a point where huge numbers of motorists began incorporating extra security such as steering wheel locks.

But, with the rise of car alarms and then the more effect engine immobilisers, the problem seemed to rescind.

However, as the cost of living crisis bites and keyless entry to cars suffer from hacking by well organised thieves, it seems as thought he blight of car theft is back as a going concern.

State of the nation

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by GoCompare, was sent to 36 police forces.

It conclusions reveal that, surprisingly, London did not have the highest ratio of thefts.

In fact, Cleveland in the North East of England, had the highest ratio of 12.67 stolen vehicles for every 1,000 registered cars in 2022.

The London Metropolitan area wasn’t far behind. It is rated as the second worst place in the UK for car crime, with 11.51 thefts for every 1,000 registered cars.

South Yorkshire comes in third, with a theft ratio of 10.67 for every 1,000 registered cars.

Top 10 car theft hotspots

  1. Cleveland – 12.67
  2. London Metropolitan – 11.51
  3. South Yorkshire – 10.67
  4. Northumbria – 10.31
  5. Bedfordshire – 6.37
  6. West Yorkshire – 6.32
  7. West Midlands – 5.14
  8. Essex – 4.72
  9. Nottinghamshire – 4.41
  10. Merseyside – 4.37

This analysis follows the news that just 6.7% of car thefts result in a conviction – according to Home Office data.

It means that the inconvenience and heart ache of having your car stolen is exacerbated by the lack of success in recovering vehicles and bringing the guilty criminals to task

A Fiesta of car theft

The data also showed the most stolen cars in 2022.

Although the last model rolled off the line this year, the Ford Fiesta is still one of the most popular cars in the UK.

And that is the same for car criminals, as the hatchback took top spot.

In fact, this model has regularly been named as the most likely car to be stolen over the past few years.

The data showed that it was revealed as the most stolen car by 30% of police forces in 2019.

This then rose to 48% in 2022.

Following the Fiesta in the top 10 most stolen cars in 2022 was the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, Honda (all/unspecified models), Vauxhall Astra, Vauxhall Corsa, Land Rover Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Land Rover Discovery, and BMW (all/unspecified models).

GoCompare’s FOI research, also highlighted the areas of the UK with the lowest ratio of car thefts for every thousand registered vehicles.

Dyfed-Powys in Wales was the best, with an average of 0.49.Gloucestershire, Cumbria, Suffolk, and Norfolk also all had a car theft ratio that was less than one.

Techinicaly targeted

Despite the concern, car theft is still well below rates seen in previous decades. While there have been concerns over the level of security offered by ‘keyless entry’ models,  these have undergone significant improvements by manufacturers.

There was a 24.9% year-on-year increase in the number of vehicles stolen across England and Wales, according to  data published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Analysis shows that there were 130,389 vehicles stolen last year, compared to 104,435 during the previous year (2021).

Furthermore, AA Insurance Services says that theft from vehicles rose by 9.9%, with 212,900 people having items stolen from their vehicle compared to 193,647 the year before.

What’s more, most car thefts are by gangs targeting  top end models. These are often stolen to order and very quickly shipped out of the country.

Thieves are attempting to keep pace with manufacturers by using a variety of hi-tech methods to steal them. Relay theft, key cloning and signal blocking continue to be the main methods of illegally obtaining vehicles.

When it comes to taking things from cars, faster and more traditional methods are adopted such as smashing windows or forcing windows and doors open are adopted to gain phones, wallets, and other valuable possessions.




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