Where are the van theft and break-in hotspots of the UK?

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  Posted by: electime      19th June 2024

Vans can be targeted by opportunistic thieves due to the valuables they may contain, such as tools and building supplies. It’s therefore crucial to take steps to reduce your risk of being a victim to van theft or a break-in.

To help Brits know where van break-ins and thefts are rife, our researchers submitted a Freedom of Information request to police constabularies across the UK.

Which police force recorded the highest number of van thefts?

West Yorkshire Police recorded 2,133 van thefts between 1st January 2022 and 29th February 2024, making it the area where you’re most likely to get your van stolen in the UK.

Nottinghamshire Police ranked in second, with 709 recorded van thefts, with Merseyside Police in third with 653 van thefts.


Most Likely To Get Your Van Stolen
Ranking Police Force Total number of van thefts
1 West Yorkshire Police 2,133
2 Nottinghamshire Police 709
3 Merseyside Police 653
4 Derbyshire Constabulary 612
5 South Yorkshire Police 594
6 Leicestershire Constabulary 531
7 Avon and Somerset Constabulary 447
8 Surrey Police 340
9 Lancashire Constabulary 299
10 Lincolnshire Police 296
11 Northamptonshire Police 273
12 Humberside Police 266
13 Dorset Police 228
14 Durham Constabulary 176
15 Bedfordshire Police 166
16 Gwent Police 164
17 Suffolk Constabulary 110
18 Norfolk Constabulary 104
19 Cambridgeshire Constabulary 77
20 Cleveland Police 68
21 North Wales Police 66
22 Gloucestershire Constabulary 55
23 Hertfordshire Constabulary 0

Which police force recorded the highest number of van break-ins?

Merseyside Police recorded the highest number of van break-ins with 3,749 between 1st January 2022 and 29th February 2024.

West Yorkshire Police ranked in second, with 2,490 recorded van break-ins, with Northamptonshire in third with 1,161 van break-ins.

Most Likely To Get Your Van Broken Into
Ranking Police Force Total number of van break-ins
1 Merseyside Police 3,749
2 West Yorkshire Police 2,490
3 Northamptonshire Police 1,161
4 Derbyshire Constabulary 971
5 Dorset Police 875
6 Avon and Somerset Constabulary 753
7 Lancashire Constabulary 604
8 South Yorkshire Police 599
9 Cleveland Police 382
10 Nottinghamshire Police 374
11 Durham Constabulary 356
12 Gwent Police 347
13 Surrey Police 301
14 Lincolnshire Police 299
15 Leicestershire Constabulary 288
16 Bedfordshire Police 270
17 Humberside Police 266
18 Suffolk Constabulary 178
19 Cambridgeshire Constabulary 175
20 Norfolk Constabulary 138
21 Hertfordshire Constabulary 108
22 North Wales Police 93
23 Gloucestershire Constabulary 3

How can I reduce my risk of a break-in or the theft of my van?

It’s worth taking precautionary measures to reduce your risk of a break-in or the theft of your van. Here are five tips to consider:

Explore van security alarms

Not all vans will have a fitted alarm and immobiliser as standard. This particular type of alarm system will prevent your van’s engine from starting, when it detects a break-in. There are a range of alarm systems on the market, offering different levels of protection, so it’s worth exploring your options.

Consider extra security measures for your van

It’s important to do all you can to prevent theft, so it’s worth considering fitting extra security locks to your van. Fitting a tracking device should help to locate your van, in the unfortunate event it is stolen.

Security mark your tools

Security marking your tools can act as a deterrent to thieves, as it is a clear signal that they are not the rightful owner. This can be achieved through various means such as engraving, UV pens and security stickers.

Park in well-lit areas

Avoid parking your van in any isolated off-road spots, and opt to park in a well-lit area instead. Be aware of your surroundings when loading and unloading your tools.

Take your tools out your van when parked overnight

To reduce the risk of your tools being stolen overnight, unload your tools during the day and store them in a more secure place, such as in your home.

To keep your tools protected, wherever they may be stored, check out our ironmongery and security products. 


A Freedom of Information request was submitted to 45 police forces across the UK. 23 forces responded with the requested data, 22 either didn’t respond, didn’t hold the requested data, or weren’t able to share it.