Staffordshire saw a bigger increase in car thefts than any other area, followed by Bedfordshire and Thames Valley
Staffordshire saw the biggest rise in car thefts last year, according to new figures.
The Government data was analysed by car-selling site Motorway and shows which police force areas in the UK suffered the worst increases in car theft. Staffordshire saw the largest rise, with car thefts jumping by 37.5 per cent from 1,332 in 2017 to 1,831 in 2018.
• Car crime rises again with 113,000 vehicles stolen last year
Bedfordshire Police came second, seeing a 27.3 per cent year-on-year rise from 1,054 thefts to 1,342. The number of cars stolen in the Thames Valley area, meanwhile, increased 26.8 per cent from 2,574 to 3,625.
2017 car thefts
2018 car thefts
37.5 per cent
27.3 per cent
Thames Valley Police
26.8 per cent
22.3 per cent
20.4 per cent
19.4 per cent
West Midlands Police
18.7 per cent
18.7 per cent
18.1 per cent
16.6 per cent
Only seven police forces saw a year-on-year decrease in car thefts from 2017 to 2018. The City of London Police’s figure dropped 21.8 per cent from 78 to 61, Wiltshire Police’s fell 11.2 per cent from 636 to 565, and Humberside Police’s was down by 9.2 per cent, from 1,489 to 1,352.
Dyfed-Powys, Merseyside and Avon and Somerset were the other three police areas that saw decreases, while the British Transport Police also reported an 11.9 per cent drop, from 464 thefts to 409.
In addition, five forces have seen vehicle thefts more than double in the last five years: British Transport Police (up by 217 per cent), Surrey Police (138 per cent), Nottinghamshire Police (122 per cent), Staffordshire Police (115 per cent) and the West Midlands Police (114 per cent).
• How to avoid keyless theft
Alex Buttle, director of Motorway, said: “These troubling figures suggest that over-stretched and under-resourced police forces are struggling to curb the rising number of car crimes, and in particular keyless car thefts.”
He added that drivers – especially those with valuable cars – should check they are not being watched, keep their keys in a safe place away from windows and doors, and consider fitting a tracking device.
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