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What Are the Trends in Vehi­cle Crime in the UK?

Posted 09/28/20 by Joe Mckay


Trends in Vehi­cle Crime in the UK are grow­ing ever more appar­ent as crim­i­nals con­tin­ue to adapt and increase their knowl­edge of how to com­mit these crimes. Crim­i­nals have made a liv­ing out of steal­ing vehi­cles by tar­get­ing them in var­i­ous ways. They now steal vehi­cles at work, while trav­el­ling in pub­lic, from peo­ple on the street, and even from police offi­cers. In this arti­cle, we will be look­ing at the top three trends which are cur­rent­ly tak­ing place and what you can do to make sure that your vehi­cle is not one of them. 

Google Trends regard­ing vehi­cle crime 8th of March until present (accu­rate at the time of publishing) 

First­ly, vehi­cles that are stolen in the UK are main­ly tak­en for the pur­pose of com­mit­ting Vehi­cle Crime. This means that whilst a thief may be look­ing to steal your car, they could also be look­ing to steal a vehi­cle which can then be used to steal oth­er peo­ple’s pos­ses­sions and vehi­cles this is par­tic­u­lar­ly the case when it comes to Lor­ry theft. This is cur­rent­ly tak­ing place as many thefts in the UK involve lor­ries which are being stolen by crim­i­nals who are look­ing to break into hous­es or hijack oth­er vehi­cles where they can­not bypass the immo­bilis­er on the car in-situ. As the num­ber of lor­ries on the roads increas­es, so does the num­ber of poten­tial thieves look­ing for a vic­tim and the tools they need to car­ry out fur­ther crimes. 

Sec­ond­ly, as lor­ries become more pop­u­lar on the roads, their own­ers’ risk is also increas­ing. The risk is par­tic­u­lar­ly increased when lor­ries are trav­el­ling in high traf­fic areas where they may be tar­gets of thieves. These include remote motor­way ser­vices, petrol sta­tions in out of the way areas and even in some cas­es the Depot. The third type of crime tak­ing place is cur­rent­ly tar­get­ing lor­ry own­ers who own lor­ries that still have legit­i­mate reg­is­tra­tion plates on their vehi­cles, which are an easy tar­get. This is due to the fact that lor­ries which are stolen often have valu­able car­go on board, and the theft of these car­go often attracts the atten­tion of crim­i­nals who then tar­get oth­er lor­ry dri­vers for their plates in order to move the stolen car­go across the coun­try or even beyond its borders. 

Third­ly, vehi­cle crime is ris­ing across the coun­try. Some of this rise is linked to increased num­bers of cars on the road, and some of this rise is relat­ed to thieves’ increased capa­bil­i­ty to get hold of more advanced tools. 

In par­tic­u­lar, there is an increas­ing num­ber of vehi­cle crimes in Lon­don. This is due to the fact pop­u­la­tion den­si­ty is direct­ly linked to the increased num­bers of vehi­cle crime in any giv­en area, so it is wise to do some research into your local area to deter­mine how cau­tious you need to be. As more peo­ple move into the cap­i­tal, there are more oppor­tu­ni­ties for crim­i­nals to steal valu­able vehi­cles in these areas. 

Cred­it ADT — https://​www​.adt​.co​.uk/​c​r​i​m​e​-​i​n​-​m​y​-area

The fourth aspect behind the grow­ing amount of vehi­cle crime in the UK is the evo­lu­tion of the way thieves think about break­ing into cars and oth­er vehi­cles. Whilst there are still many peo­ple who sim­ply want to break into a car to steal a few pos­ses­sions, there is also a grow­ing group of organ­ised crim­i­nals who are inter­est­ed in steal­ing vehi­cles to use them to com­mit oth­er crimes such as vehi­cles that could be for use in armed rob­bery. These could be any vehi­cle that suits the crim­i­nal’s intent, for instance, the recent spates of moped smash and grab shop raids in wealth­i­er parts of Lon­don. This is why it is worth remem­ber­ing that if you are tar­get­ed by thieves not only are you los­ing your pos­ses­sions but are also poten­tial­ly being impli­cat­ed in oth­er crim­i­nal acts. 

The fifth prob­lem brought about by increas­ing vehi­cle crime and car theft is that it’s caus­ing a huge amount of dam­age to many cars even when the thieves fail to steal a vehi­cle. Worse case sce­nario this can lead to a dri­ver who is unaware his vehi­cle has been tam­pered with end­ing up in a fatal road traf­fic col­li­sion, not to men­tion increased insur­ance pre­mi­ums that are the result of crim­i­nal dam­age to vehicles. 

The final trend in the UK is relat­ed to the theft of expen­sive and high qual­i­ty goods, such as tools from vans. Thieves often break into vans to steal valu­able jew­ellery, elec­tron­ic equip­ment and lux­u­ry prod­ucts but invari­ably they will tend to tar­get tools, these are not only valu­able for resale but also can allow the crim­i­nals the abil­i­ty to car­ry out ever more elab­o­rate thefts. Its esti­mat­ed that vehi­cle crime could be cost­ing the Eng­lish econ­o­my alone £132 mil­lion per annum and this based on a con­ser­v­a­tive report by Matthew Heeks, Sasha Reed, Mari­am Tafsiri and Stu­art Prince pub­lished in June 2018 titled The eco­nom­ic and social costs of crime“

So in sum­ma­tion it’s worth look­ing into the secu­ri­ty of your vehi­cles’ in depth par­tic­u­lar­ly if you are a fleet com­pa­ny or oth­er busi­ness that has an exten­sive amount of valu­able vehi­cles. 3D Autokeys does offer a wide array of secu­ri­ty mea­sures to help you upgrade your com­pa­ny’s fleet here.

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