Revealed: the UK’s vehicle crime hotspots

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  Posted by: electime      23rd November 2022

Research by Northgate reveals the areas with the highest (and lowest) incidents of vehicle crime in the UK

  • The Metropolitan Police Service, West Midlands and West Yorkshire Police see some of the highest vehicle crime rates in the UK
  • While City of London, Dyfed-Powys Police and Cumbria Constabulary see the fewest reports of vehicle crime
  • November saw the highest total of vehicle crime incidents across all forces in the research

Whether used or new, a car is often one of the most expensive purchase a person can make. It can therefore be traumatic, costly and an inconvenience when someone becomes a victim of vehicle crime. Having a car stolen, items stolen from a car or having a car damaged are all awful instances that people hope will never happen to them.

Northgate has delved into the latest annual data by the Government and local police departments to reveal the areas in the UK which see the highest, and lowest, reports of vehicle crime.

Highest Instances of Vehicle Crime

  1. Metropolitan Police Service
  2. West Midlands Police
  3. West Yorkshire Police
  4. Thames Valley Police
  5. Essex Police

In the latest annual data, the Metropolitan Police Service noted over 100,000 incidents of vehicle crime last year, with the month of November seeing the highest.

With nearly 70% less reported incidents than the capital, West Midlands Police still see the second highest level of vehicle crime, with just over 30,000 incidents last year alone. While the number of incidents steadily increased throughout last year, it was December that saw the highest. Just under 92% of the crimes in this month saw a complete investigation with no suspect identified.

West Yorkshire Police sits in third with over 14,000 automotive felonies in the latest annual data. While this area sees the highest reports in October, it’s November that saw the most instances of vehicle crime across UK forces last year.

Lowest Instances of Vehicle Crime

  1. City of London Police
  2. Dyfed-Powys Police
  3. Cumbria Constabulary
  4. North Wales Police
  5. North Yorkshire Police

Governing the inner city of the capital, which is predominantly the financial business district, the City of London Police received the lowest reports of vehicle crime last year. According to the data, both January and April saw only 6 instances of vehicle crime, all bar one having a complete investigation with no suspect identified.

Dyfed-Powys Police saw the second-lowest incidents of vehicle crime in the latest annual data. Looking after the Welsh areas of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys, this force saw only 604 reports last year. Interestingly, June is the month which saw the highest amount, receiving 76 reports of vehicle crime.

Sitting close-behind in third is Cumbria Constabulary with 732 automotive felonies across this area. The highest number of reports were made in October with 91 crimes, 67% of which saw a complete investigation with no suspect identified, while just under 20% were unable to prosecute a suspect.

Analysis into Vehicle Crime
For the ten years leading up to 2020, the door being unlocked has been cited as the most common method of entry for theft surrounding vehicles. While breaking the window (or attempting to) has steadily decreased over the years. In the same time frame, thefts in the morning or afternoon increased by 113%, while thefts at the weekend decreased.

When it comes to the contents of vehicles, valuables are the most common item to be stolen and this has steadily increased over the past decade. On the other hand, the theft of exterior fittings has decreased by over 50% in this time period. The average cost of items stolen from a vehicle has increased by more than 96% over a decade.

Neil McCrossan, Sales and Marketing Director at Northgate said: “We know how precious our vehicles can be to us and how much it can impact our everyday lives if something is to happen to them. We decided to look at the areas that saw the most, and least, vehicle crime last year to get an annual perspective of where people may need to be extra cautious of their vehicles.

Remember to always double check if your vehicle is locked and use a steering lock if your car or van is keyless. If you can, park your car in a garage or enclosed driveway, but if you need to park on the road choose a spot that is well lit. Try not to keep any valuables in your car and clear your vehicle of clutter.”

Find more information about the UK’s vehicle crime hotspots here: