Government figures reveal car crime has continued to rise for the last six years. As motorists are targeted by organised gangs, what’s the likelihood that you’ll become a victim of vehicle crime? And what can you do to steer clear of it? Alex Beresford has been on a mission to find out.
In some parts of the UK car crime has rocketed by sixty percent in four years and despite car security systems becoming ever more advanced, car thieves seem to be one step ahead.
A car was stolen on average once every ten minutes in the UK last year and more than half of stolen cars are never seen by their owners again.
On Tonight’s programme we hear from victims who woke up to find their cars taken from their homes and hear about a gang, who used physical force.
“In Tamworth, we really do not see car-jacking offences. So when they start to happen, we really realised then, that there was something very very different about what was going on. Over thirty days, Tamworth police tackled one of the most brutal and violent carjacking gangs that had ever been seen in this district.”
Alex also discovers what might happen to your car once it’s stolen and finds out about car ‘chop shops’ where cars are broken down into parts for resale or to fix other vehicles. Some cars end up abroad and we hear from the Police team responsible for investigating stolen vehicles at UK ports and Alex speaks to a company who fit trackers to cars.
“The police managed to find a million pounds worth of other vehicles, all stolen from the UK, and to date that is the biggest repatriation of stolen vehicles from Africa back to the UK.”
Keyless car entry was also supposed to be an advanced safety feature but as Tonight reported in 2018 criminals quickly worked out how to steal vehicles without entering your home, known as relay theft.
Alex speaks to Which? and finds out which manufacturers aren’t doing enough to improve keyless car security. We also take a look at some practical steps we can take to reduce the chances of our cars being stolen.
Also on Tonight’s programme, as we continue to do our best to protect our cars from being stolen, police report a different crime has been on the rise during lockdown. Two thirds of Britain’s police forces caught people driving at more than 100 miles an hour once lockdown had started. The Met Police alone has recorded 345 offences. As we take to the roads again post lockdown, Police fear targeted car crime will rise again.
'Car Crime: Is My Car Safe?' is on ITV tonight at 7:30pm.