Click4Reg.co.uk has issued advice to fleets and drivers on how to avoid becoming the victim of car crime after its research found more than 350,000 incidents were reported in 2016.
Utilising data derived from data.police.uk, Click4Reg.co.uk investigated the total number of vehicles crimes that were recorded by 43 police forces/constabularies across the UK.
Vehicle crime per the police is classified as 'theft from or of a vehicle or interference with a vehicle'.
The research found that the Metropolitan Police in London had the highest number of vehicle crimes recorded in 2016 at 89,900.
Next was West Midlands Police, who reported 29,106 vehicle crimes. In third place was Greater Manchester Police, with 24,298.
On the other end of the scale, City of London Police had the lowest number of vehicle crimes reported at 177, while Dyfed-Powys Police recorded 1,103 cases
Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show 71% of all vehicle-theft occurs during the week and night is popular time, with 43% occurring during this period of the day.
More than four in 10 (43%) of all vehicle-related theft occurs because drives do not adequately lock their doors.
Ben Leonard, managing director of Click4Reg.co.uk, said: “The figures are certainly fascinating.
"Vehicle crime is certainly more prevalent than anyone would expect. Whilst unfortunate, there are various effective actions that drivers can take to safeguard their vehicle from any potential crime.
"All drivers should aim to make simple steps such as locking doors and removing all valuable possessions when not in their vehicle a habit.
"Making such behaviours a daily routine, will go a long way in protecting driver’s vehicles from opportunist criminals and thieves.
"Overall, more awareness and precaution from drivers can go a significantly long way in reducing the numbers of vehicle crime across the UK”.
Five tips to reduce the risk of being a victim of vehicle crime:
- Doors and windows - make every effort to close all windows and fully lock the vehicle when leaving it at your own property, at work or elsewhere.
- Valuable possessions - remove all valuable possessions out of plain sight when not in the vehicle - especially money, wallets, purses and electronic items (including radio).
- Parking - always aim to park your vehicle in a well-lit area, as sufficient lighting will more than likely deter criminals and thieves from targeting your vehicle.
- Planning - if you’re making journeys to unfamiliar locations and sites, plan ahead to avoid driving through, and parking in any high crime areas.
- Extra protection – a car alarm or steering wheel lock can go a long way in adding extra security for your vehicle.