Car thefts across the region almost double in 5 years
CAR thefts in West Midlands have more than doubled in just five years – with motorists’ groups warning cuts in police numbers meant criminals could be getting away with it.
A total of 8,705 cars were stolen in the West Midlands police force area in 2017/ 18.
That compares with 4,037 cars stolen in 2013/ 14.
The figures were obtained under Freedom of Information laws.
They show the number of cars stolen has been rising, year- on- year, for at least the last five years.
RAC insurance spokesman Simon Williams said: “These rise in thefts is a cause for concern and demonstrates that despite the increasing sophistication of modern car security systems, criminal groups are continuing to find ways around them.
“We do have a concern that the declining number of police officers could be resulting in less investigation of motor crime like this, something that could be solved by forces having greater resources at a time when car crime is on the up.
“Aside from the obvious impact on victims of car theft, it’s a fact every driver pays for this type of crime through higher insurance policies.”
The data also shows the car makes that were most likely to be stolen in the West Midlands.
Of the 8,705 cars taken by thieves in 2017/ 18, 2,931 were Fords.
A further 681 were Vauxhalls, 673 were Mercedes, 620 were BMWs and 564 were Audis. Among the stolen cars there were also Volkswagens ( 439), Hondas ( 430) and Peugeots ( 302). Nissans ( 257) and Renaults ( 213) complete the top 10.
The numbers don’t mean those makes are necessarily easier to steal or more vulnerable – they might just be more popular in West Midlands.
Of the 27 police forces in England and Wales who supplied data, all of them had seen car thefts increase in 2017/ 18 compared to 2016/ 17.
In total, across all the forces, there were 57,781 cars stolen in 2017/ 18, up from 46,704 the year before.
Police recommend keeping keys safe, out of view when at home, and away from your front door.
They also say when not using an electronic key, it should be kept in a security pouch to prevent it being scanned. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for vehicle crime, said: “Police forces continue to work with key partners including the Home Office, the National Crime Agency and vehicle manufacturers to identify and address current crime trends, design- out crime, increase security and improve the processes around the acquisitions and disposal of vehicles.
“Meanwhile local officers provide simple and effective prevention advice based on the particular type of crime seen most in their area.”