There has been a 30% increase in the number of vehicles stolen in England and Wales over the last three years, new data has revealed.
The analysis by RAC Insurance was based on information supplied by police forces in response to a Freedom of Information request. It found that 65,783 vehicles were reported stolen in 2013 to 40 police forces in England and Wales, but by 2016 this had risen to 85,688.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, more vehicles are stolen in London than anywhere else in the UK, with 26,496 thefts being reported to the Metropolitan Police Force in 2016 – this equates to nearly a third of all vehicles stolen (31%).
Outside London, the region with the highest reported number of vehicles stolen is the West Midlands, with police there reporting 5,930 thefts, a 43% increase on 2013 (4,161) and a 33% on 2015 (4,474), closely followed by West Yorkshire Police with 5,597 thefts - a 57% rise when compared to the 2013 figures.
“Unfortunately, these figures show a very unwelcome rise in the theft of vehicles from much lower numbers in 2013,” commented RAC Insurance director Mark Godfrey. “Technology advances in immobilisers, keys and car alarms had caused the number of vehicle thefts to decrease significantly from more than 300,000 in 2002 but sadly they have now increased after bottoming out in 2013 and 2014.”
“We fear thieves are now becoming more and more well equipped with technology capable of defeating car manufacturers’ anti-theft systems,” he added.
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