Sharp rise in vehicle theft
VEHICLE thefts in Wales and England have increased by almost a third in just three years, new figures show.
The RAC, which obtained the data through Freedom of Information requests to police forces, believes thieves are bypassing modern vehicle security systems. Responses from 40 forces revealed 85,688 vehicles were stolen last year, up 30% from 65,783 in 2013.
RAC insurance director Mark Godfrey said this rise reverses a general trend of vehicle thefts decreasing since around 2002.
“We fear thieves are now becoming more and more well equipped with technology capable of defeating car manufacturers’ anti-theft systems,” he said.
“This is bad news for motorists as it has the effect of causing insurance premiums to rise at a time when they are already being pushed up by a variety of factors, not least the recent change to the discount rate for life-changing personal injury compensation claims and the rises in insurance premium tax.”
Mr Godfrey said a number of motorists are resorting to using anti-theft devices which were popular in the 1980s and early 1990s such as steering wheel locks.