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Car thefts up by a third in three years

The number of vehicles stolen in England and Wales increased by 30% between 2013 and 2016 as thieves become more adept at overcoming in-car anti-theft technology.

Car theft

The number of stolen vehicles rose 30% in three years.

A freedom of information request by RAC Insurance showed that a total of 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.

London had the highest reported number of vehicles stolen, with 26,496 thefts being reported to the Metropolitan Police Force in 2016 – up 29% on the total of 20,565 for 2013.

In second place, West Midlands Police reported 5,930 thefts in 2016, a 43% increase on 2013 (4,161), closely followed by West Yorkshire Police with 5,597 – up 57% rise on the 2013 figures.

RAC Insurance director Mark Godfrey said: “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 that anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks are starting to make a comeback while telematics can also help in the fight against car theft.For more of the latest industry news, click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.