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Where Do Most Car Thefts Occur

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  • 03-01-2022
Where Do Most Car Thefts Occur

Vehicle Crime Rates In The UK

There has been plenty of research and surveys done on the levels of car crimes within aspects of England, Scotland and Wales, deciphering whether rates have risen or decreased compared to those of five years previous.

The top three police areas that experience the highest rate of car crime are:


The metropolitan police revealed around 113.0 reported vehicle crimes per 10,000, making them the highest in the country.

West Midlands

The local police have reported approximately 87.0 total car theft claims or crimes committed per 10,000.

Greater Manchester

The police reported 79.6 car crimes per 10,000 people, making them the third-highest across England and Wales.  

From 2016 to 2021, the rate of national crimes concerning motor vehicles had dramatically fallen by 8.70%, in figures 365,037 down to 336,650. Overall, such numbers demonstrate that countries like England and Wales are gradually becoming safer locations for all car owners. Vehicle crime is slowly becoming less prevalent; however, it is still a cause for concern.

The drastic decrease could be down to the lockdowns and many people across the UK staying inside their homes and not leaving old or new vehicles in sketchy areas during the Coronavirus pandemic. Crime experienced somewhat of a decrease overall during this time, so such a thing could be a significant factor.

Vehicle Theft Hotspots And Cool Spots

London has often been named one of the most significant emerging hotspots for car theft and car crime in the UK. New research revealed that Lambeth has the cities highest number of vehicle thefts.

Nine of the countries top ten locations are within the capital city, including Chelsea and Affluent Kensington, alongside Wandsworth and Ealing, according to the data in the Co-op Insurance survey. Preston city is the only postcode within the north that made it into the top 20 list, sitting at the very high position 13.

Moray in Scotland displayed the least amount of car theft crimes within the past four years. 

The list of areas in order of their car crime levels is as follows:

1. Lambeth

2. Kensington and Chelsea

3. Ealing

4. Southwark

5. Lewisham

6. Wandsworth

7. Greenwich

8. Hounslow

9. Watford

10. Westminster


11. Hammersmith and Fulham 

12. Three Rivers

13. Preston

14. Slough

15. Spelthorne

16. Stevenage

17. Barking and Dagenham

18. Havering

19. Peterborough

20. Southampton

Top Tips To Beat Car Thieves


The first tip is to think before parking. If you find that your car isn't at home, aim to park it in a well-lit area close by public spaces, other vehicles, and many people, where it can be seen and recognised amongst bypasses instead of a darker, quieter spot. You may also wish to choose a location, preferably monitored by security patrol or CCTV cameras, so that it can capture your stolen vehicle if something happens. 


Next, you want to ensure your car wheels are at an angle. The best way to beat car thieves when parking is by having your wheel face the kerb. Doing so means that if anyone attempts to speed off in your car, you will have trouble releasing the lock on the steering wheel. It is a strategy that helps eliminate the chances of them pushing or towing your vehicle to a different location. The method also buys more time for them to be caught, as it may take longer.


Be sure to invest in more efficient, traditional visual deterrents; for example, wheel clamps, visible steering locks and crook locks can often put a car thief off entirely. If one is not already fitted, you may wish to purchase an immobiliser, dash-cam, stolen vehicle tracking technology devices or a car alarm. 


Do not leave your car with its engine running if you run errands around corners or across the street; car thieves will see this as an opportunity to take advantage and drive away in your car. You must be incredibly careful as gas or petrol stations. If no one is with you sitting in the car, ensure you fully lock it when going to pay for petrol, this could be another opportunity for an opportunistic thief to strike. 


You may believe that your vehicle is entirely and automatically locked by simply clicking your key-fob. However, many thieves across the UK can purchase inexpensive remote control devices and keyless entry systems that jam your car doors open by blocking the signals to your vehicle. It will ultimately leave your doors unalarmed and unlocked. The best and only way to ensure this method has worked is by thoroughly checking the boot and doors manually before leaving your car. 


Avoid any temptations; strive to never leave enticing objects or expensive items on display in your empty driving seats or the window view. Such possessions include bags, loose change or lots of cash, clothes, mobile phones or tablets, sat navs, designer sunglasses, or other gear. Thieves could smash your windows and openly steal your belongings. The best way is by ensuring and manually checking that your car looks virtually empty, hide possessions in the boot, in drawers or underneath seats. 


Lastly, always stay conscious and aware of your surroundings. Lock all windows and doors when you are in traffic jams or slow-moving traffic so's not to become a carjacking victim. You can also invest in a traffic jam lock. Ensuring you place any valuable possessions away from clear sight and remain alert, especially when driving in convertibles or out at night when most thieves target vehicles.

 Which Cars Are Most Likely To Be Stolen?

Co-op Insurance completed a survey that revealed plenty about the models of cars stolen, broken into or targeted by cars thieves.

In most recent years, the UK's best-selling vehicle, the Ford Fiesta, is considered the number one target for thieves in the survey. They discovered that various other, more popular models, such the Vauxhall Corsa, Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus, follow it, making up the top five.

We highly suggest that any rightful owners who possess these vehicles follow the tips above to ensure your car is safe when parking. Lower price point vehicles are often targeted just as much as luxury cars.

The rest of the 'top 10' survey that Co-op Insurance listed is compiled of numerous luxury models, such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover Evoque, etc. Plenty of these vehicles are attractive, highly efficient for use and are worth lots of money; some even have unique features that other cars of a lower cost do not have.

Their attractiveness motivates many thieves to steal these vehicles to sell or clone for their own business. Many of these vehicle thieves strip luxury cars for their unique and valuable parts, selling them across Europe and other parts of the world.

Co-op Insurance recently launched an interactive device known as Park Smart in an efficient effort to help many drivers across the UK reduce the level of risk when it comes to potential theft. The tool is utilised to help users successfully and quickly identify the safest streets in their area where they can park without being at risk.

It is an interactive map that displays the number of reports of vandalism, thefts from inside a vehicle and general vehicle theft that could have happened within the past six months in a location or safe street of your choosing.

Paul Evans, the head of motor insurance at Co-op Insurance, has stated that "Having your car stolen is one of the most distressing experiences that any person can endure.. it is something that blights our everyday life."

It is so stressful and scary, which is why we encourage drivers and help customers understand that even if they have much smaller vehicles.

Even the less expensive cars are considered hot property in the eyes of many car thieves across the UK; it is not just the more costly models that get targeted.


If you are concerned about vehicle security get in touch today. Our security experts offer ghost immobiliser fitting and other vehicle security systems for customers throughout Wirral and Liverpool.

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