Overall there were 1,096,022 vehicle crimes - a cut of 150,000 on April 1996-March 1997 when vehicle crime totalled 1,245,052 offences. However, while the figures reveal a fifth consecutive decrease in vehicle crime - 25% fewer crimes than in 1992/93 - a 10-year comparison shows a 3.6% rise. Simultaneous vehicle crime statistics published by the Home Office in The 1998 British Crime Survey for England and Wales - the last similar survey was published in 1995 - reveal a 14% drop in thefts from vehicles, a 25% drop in thefts of vehicles and a 27% fall in attempted thefts.
The survey, based on interviews with 15,000 people, measures crimes against people living in private households, some of which may not be reported to the police. The downward trend in vehicle-related thefts has been attributed to a number of reasons including increased levels of security on new cars, the introduction of closed circuit television to cover many high risk car parks and changing preferences of offenders.