It's not grim up north at all - especially if you're a car thief



A league table of UK car crime has revealed the cities where your car is most likely to be targeted by criminals. At the top of the list is Manchester - where your car is four times more likely to be a victim of crime than the national average.

In fact, six of the top ten cities were in the North, with appearances by Bradford, Leeds and Sheffield.


The research was carried out by the HonestJohn website, which added up all car crime - from theft to criminal damage and the theft of contents. It found that on average the rate of car crime was 121 per 10,000 vehicles.

It put Manchester top of the list, with 505 offences per 10,000 vehicles. It highlighted that it was a densely populated city, with plenty of shopping centres and large car parks with rich pickings for opportunist thieves.

Bradford was second with 457 offences per 10,000 vehicles, Leeds was fourth, and Sheffield fifth. The only city in the top five outside the North was London - which took second place.

The rest of the top ten was made up of Newcastle, Birmingham, Liverpool, Cardiff and Bristol.

Protect yourself

Ideally we'd be able to avoid driving into areas with high rates of car crime. However, when the areas are as big as Manchester or Bradford, we need to take further steps.

The website calculated that the most common type of crime is theft of belongings from a car, which accounts for 42% of car crime. It highlights how important it is not to leave anything valuable on display, and to double-check that you have secured the car properly before leaving it.

The next most common kind of crime is criminal damage - which makes up 40% of all recorded car crime. The best protection against this is to make every effort to park your car somewhere it can easily be seen by passers-by, and ideally under street lamp at night. If people know they can be seen they are less likely to damage your car.

Finally, the next most common kind of car crime is theft of the vehicle itself - which makes up 16% of crime. Most modern cars are highly secure unless the thieves have your keys, so it's a useful reminder to take care of your keys in busy places, especially when you have just left your vehicle.