Worst Areas For Vehicle Theft In The UK

Worst Areas For Vehicle Theft In The UK

Data collected from police forces across the UK is able to provide a good indication of the areas in which higher rates of vehicle theft occur. Since 2020, police forces have noted a dramatic rise in vehicle theft, with reports of criminal gangs targeting higher value cars and relay car theft which is a technique used to specifically target keyless entry vehicles. In this article we will discover some of the worst areas for vehicle theft in the UK. Taking a look at the statistics and uncovering what the everyday motorist can do to reduce the risk of falling victim to theft. 

Areas which have seen some of the highest increases in vehicle theft between 2020 and 2022 include: (please note data was not supplied by all police forces in the country)

  • Staffordshire – 67% increase 
  • Devon & Cornwall 52% increase
  • Northumbria – 55% increase 
  • Humberside – 52% increase
  • North Yorkshire – 35% increase 

Although car theft can often be thought of as a crime that occurs mostly in major cities, what these statistics indicate is that this is a national issue. Increasing in areas throughout England, from the north to the south, vehicle owners have been warned by police to take vigilant steps in order to protect their vehicles.

Explaining The Increase In Car Theft  

Although it’s near impossible to explain this increase with one explanation, there are certainly a number of factors that could help to explain it. 

Firstly, what you may have once associated with car theft, such as people armed with hammers or screwdrivers and hotwiring, vehicles seems to be a thing of the past. Gangs of criminals have become far more technologically advanced, giving them the upper hand in some situations. Particularly when it comes to bypassing the secure technology of modern, keyless entry and electric vehicles. As cars advance, so do the types of theft. Relay car theft has now become far more common, which is used by thieves to unlock a keyless entry car without the key fob, leaving little to no damage. This type of theft has made it even easier for thieves to steal high value vehicles in just some minutes. 

Another explanation for the increase in car theft, particularly during this time frame, is the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions. During the strict coronavirus lockdown in 2020, crime rates dramatically dropped. But, as these restrictions gradually eased, police forces noted an incredible rise in reports of vehicle theft as more and more people were enjoying being back outside with family and friends. Thieves took this time as an opportunity to catch people by surprise. 

Protecting Your Vehicle From Theft 

In order to protect your vehicle from theft, whether you live in some of these areas of the UK or not, there are several steps you can take. These steps include:

  • Installing relevant security features such as immobilisers, GPS trackers, alarms to your vehicle. 
  • Parking your car in a safe and well-lit space. 
  • Considering the use of home security such as surveillance cameras and driveway bollards to act as a deterrent. 
  • Hiding valuables out of sight. 
  • Keeping key fobs away from your keyless entry vehicle at night. This may include placing this in a key fob protector or pouch.

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