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Stolen vehicles down 70% in a decade

Latest figures show 69,547 vehicles were stolen in the UK last year, compared to 231,323 in 2004. Vehicle theft fell by 1.2%, or 842 incidents, compared with 2013 and the crime is now at its lowest point since 1968. With more than 36 million vehicles on the road, today’s figures show that just 0.2% of the UK’s vehicles were stolen in 2014.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the continued reduction in vehicle theft “follows a tireless effort by manufacturers to help make vehicles ever more secure. The industry invests billions of pounds each year to ensure it remains at the cutting edge of technology and stays ahead of criminals. The introduction of advanced security systems as standard equipment is also helping to make vehicles harder to steal.”

The SMMT is also urging authorities to collect more detailed theft data to help fight against crime to reduce theft rates further, adding that there is currently little nationwide understanding of trends in types of vehicle theft because only a small number of police forces collect and analyse this data. It added that this can lead to skewed public perceptions about the regularity of certain types of vehicle theft across the country.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Thanks to significant investments by car manufacturers in the latest security systems, vehicle thefts across the UK are at the lowest levels for decades. We are, however, calling for better tracking of how different vehicles are stolen so that we have an accurate understanding of how criminals are operating and can develop future technology to eradicate vehicle crime.”

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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.