Range Rover drivers facing London spot-checks

Updated: 
Land Rover Range Rover
Land Rover

Range Rover drivers in upmarket areas of London are facing the prospect of random police spot checks, in the wake of a number of car thefts.

Drivers in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea will be stopped by traffic officers to determine whether they are in rightful possession of the car.

The move comes after thieves discovered a security loophole in the luxury 4x4's keyless entry system, which resulted in cars simply being unlocked and driven away with the aid of handheld electronic devices.

The problem has become so serious that many Range Rover owners in affected areas are being refused insurance cover if they do not have secure parking. Currently, Range Rover models account for 10 per cent of all cars stolen in London, reports The Times.

Assistant Commissioner Helen King, who heads up the Metropolitan Police's territorial policing group, told the Evening Standard: "With the amount of Range Rovers stolen in Kensington and Chelsea, officers are now instructed to stop that make of vehicle to see if the legal owner is driving it."

Land Rover has previously stated that its security measures meet insurance industry standards, though it has blamed legislation that "forces all car makers to make available information about their diagnostic systems," according to The Times, adding that it was pressing for a change to the law.

24,000 cars were stolen in London in 2014 – a rise of 1,000 on the year before.