Auto crime on the rise: Auto thefts to surge 25% by 2022

New figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to the AA show vehicle thefts rose by almost a quarter last year.

Total vehicle thefts will increase from 104,435 in 2022 to 130,389 in 2023: a 24.9 percent increase.

Vehicle theft also climbed 9.9 per cent, with nearly 213,000 people having items stolen from their cars or vans.

The ONS added that the true figure was likely to be higher. Devon and Cornwall Police were unable to provide any statistics.

“These numbers are in danger of getting out of control,” said Guy Park, MD, AA Insurance Services. “This will have significant cost implications, both in terms of the impact on wider society and the prices policyholders pay.

“We urge police chiefs and crime commissioners across the country to develop an action plan to tackle this problem.”

Auto crime goes high-tech

locked car crime

The latest vehicle theft figures show how car crime has gone high-tech. Relay theft, key cloning, and signal masking remain the primary means of illegally obtaining vehicles.

In fact, as carmakers improve key security and advise motorists to “sleep” their keys to reduce such breaches, the AA warns that criminals have developed more sophisticated ways to attack car security systems.

That’s why experts recommend that motorists use a physical steering wheel lock; it’s a technologically impenetrable device used by criminal gangs to steal cars.

When it comes to vehicle theft, more “traditional” techniques such as smashing windows and forcing doors open are the preferred methods.

Hiding items, or not storing valuables in your vehicle, may encourage a thief to move on to the next vehicle instead of attacking your own.

Guy Park added: “Nothing will guarantee your car from being stolen, but just making it a little harder for thieves makes it less likely for them to steal it.”

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Richard Ocock

Car crime on the rise: vehicle thefts rocket by 25% in 2022

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