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Latest reduction in vehicle crime welcomed

According to the ONS data, police recorded vehicle offences during 2013 fell 4% overall compared to 2012. Theft of a motor vehicle was down 8% whilst theft from a vehicle dropped 2%. The figures for interfering with a motor vehicle saw a 10% decline.

The news was welcomed by Mike Briggs, vehicle security manager, Thatcham Research, who said: ‘Thatcham welcome the latest crime figures which is testament to the ongoing work of our vehicle security team as well as many other industry stakeholders. Whilst the news is encouraging we need to continue the focus on vehicle crime alongside vehicle manufacturers, police and government if we are to stay ahead of the criminals.’

Stolen vehicle recovery specialist TRACKER also commented on the announcement, with Andy Barrs, police relationship officer, saying: ‘We welcome the reduction since it could be an indicator that car thieves appreciate the increasing effectiveness of car theft systems like TRACKER, thereby making it more unattractive for them to steal our customer's vehicles because of the likelihood of them being apprehended.’

He added: ‘Unfortunately, the way in which the police record crime sometimes masks the true level of vehicle crime, since a growing trend in vehicle thefts is to commit a burglary in order to steal vehicle keys, thus the crime is reported as burglary and not car theft. We note with interest that the burglary rate reduction has been much slower (only 4%) this year so it would be interesting to see how many burglaries included a vehicle being stolen – often referred to as a Hanoi or 2 in 1 burglary. Additionally, there has sometimes been a tendency for some forces to record attempt theft of motor vehicles simply as criminal damage – again masking the true levels of car crime.’

Barrs concluded: ‘It will be interesting to see how the British Crime Survey, which records levels of crime according to the perception of victims, measures up to these figures.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.