Vehicle Theft Hits Lowest Level Since Sixties
The number of vehicles stolen in England and Wales has fallen 70% in the last decade, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has confirmed. In 2004, 231,323 were taken without consent compared to 69,547 in 2014. The latter equates to 0.2% of the nation's 36 million Vehicles – and theft is now at its lowest level since 1968.
Motor Manufacturers Improve Vehicle Security
Motor manufacturers can claim part of the credit for the falling figures. More and more vehicles now have an alarm – many with both internal and external sensors – plus an engine immobiliser and locks that are substantially harder to bypass than in the past. Low cost tracking systems are widely available too. These enable a car to be traced by the authorities to a specific location if stolen.
The Society's Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, explained: “Thanks to significant investments by car manufacturers in the latest security systems, vehicle thefts across England and Wales are at the lowest levels for decades.” Mr Hawes continued: “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.”
How To Protect Your Vehicle
With millions of vehicles to choose from, a thief tends to pick an easy target – so make yours harder to steal than those that surround it. Options include enhancing any standard-fit security features by (say) adding a steering wheel lock, gear stick lock or tracker. Most lack such extras so your car becomes less appealing.
Next, consider where to park. A thief typically prefers to work in private so leave it in a brightly lit area monitored by closed circuit television (when practical). Parking in a busy location rather than a secluded alleyway makes it a harder proposition too.
Hide The Key
A large proportion of vehicles are stolen with a key. A thief, after all, might conclude it is easier to steal a key from a property than to bypass a vehicle's security systems. As a lot of motorists leave keys by the front door, a common technique is to retrieve them – through the letterbox – with a long metal hook.
Beware Stolen To Order
A vehicle might be stolen to order by a criminal gang, particularly if it is prestigious and valuable. If this is a realistic threat, protect it at home by blocking its escape route with a second car.