UK car theft hot spots identified

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AM5BFD Theft  crime; delinquency; larceny; robber; robbery; snatcher; steal; stealer; car; theft; gangster; thievery; vehicle; p
Alamy

Do you feel safe leaving your car parked outside your house overnight? Do you get worried every time you hear a car alarm? Now you can find out how at risk you are from vehicle theft, after a new study by Intelligent Car Leasing identified the areas most affected by car theft.

Submitting a Freedom Of Information request to 42 police forces across England and Wales, Intelligent Car Leasing was able to use the car theft data provided to distinguish which areas had the most cars stolen per head.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, major cities saw more cars stolen than anywhere else, with the City of London and Greater Manchester topping the list of highest thefts per head. Closely following behind were Greater London, Thames Valley and Warwickshire.

At the other end of the scale, Devon and Cornwall suffered the least car theft, along with North Yorkshire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire and Norfolk.

The study also revealed that overall, instances of car theft have been in decline over the last 10 years, which industry experts have put down to advances in vehicle identification and key verification technology.

A slump in the value of used car parts has also meant that stealing a car for components is less lucrative than it once was.

While cars are harder to steal than ever before, motorists are urged to follow a few simple rules to minimise the risk of their car being targeted by criminals. Aside from (what should be) obvious steps, like never leaving your car running unattended and hiding valuable items from sight, drivers are advised to keep their cars parked in a garage or driveway, or failing that, in a well-lit area, preferably in view of CCTV.

Is car crime a particular problem in your area? How have you been affected? Have your say in the comments section below.