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Police have ‘almost given up’ investigating car crime says HMIC

Car crime is "on the verge of being decriminalised" because forces have "almost given up", according to an HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) investigation of police forces in England and Wales.

The report found victims of car crime were being asked questions by call-handlers to assess the likelihood of their crime being solved.

The UK vehicle rental industry suffers an estimated 1,500 vehicle thefts each year and the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has developed its own Stolen Vehicle Reporting Guidelines to help members report thefts and ensure that police forces are provided with the right evidence and information to conduct an investigation.

The Association of Chief Police Officers and forces up and down the country have been made aware of this information, but it is falling between the cracks as more and more crime-reporting and administrative functions are outsourced.

“Vehicle theft or fraud is one of the biggest problems facing the rental industry, but our members are largely being left to fend for themselves,” said BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney.

“We need police forces to take cases of vehicle crime seriously and adopt a much more ‘joined-up’ approach to working with other constabularies.”

“Rental companies are not time-wasters – they know when a vehicle has been stolen and are prepared to work closely with police to solve these crimes.”


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  • Nick S - 05/09/2014 13:47

    We had an incident whereby the criminal was captured on cctv. But the police didn't have anyone to watch the footage, so we were given a crime ref number instead.

  • Tallpaul - 05/09/2014 14:14

    I know this is true due to first hand experience, a friend of mine had their Alfa broken into on their driveway, they took some items and the stereo from the car then rolled it off the drive, abandoning it in the road. The police were called and informed that a complete handprint had been left on the rear window, my friend was told it probably wouldnt get solved and would take up too much time. Crime number issued and that was the end of it.

  • Darren - 08/09/2014 08:15

    I've known of two vehicles being broken into (owned by friends of mine) where the police refused to even turn up. Crime number given and advice to claim on the car insurance. I have had two of my own vehicles broken into, both had finger prints taken and the police never caught anyone. I witnessed three guys breaking into a car in a car park, and despite the local police station being less than two minutes away, no police arrived in the hour after the incident. I gave the police a complete description of the car the thieves were driving including number plate and their description and which direction they drove off in, still no arrests!

  • Reg - 09/09/2014 15:42

    Had similar happen in the past. My wife's car was hit on a junction when someone hit driving through a red light and didnt stop. Her car was written off and someone got the vehicle reg and provided it to us. I did a drive around and spotted the car on a dive of a house still with the paint from our car on it. Went to Police and they said they knew who it was and to leave it with them. After two weeks still no answer form the old bill so when I enquired what the hold up was, they admitted they didnt get around to visiting the house where the owner was for some days by which time the driver claimed he had sold the car before the incident so they just issued him with a warning. It wasnt followed up and was told that as I had insurance to claim off them or take the owner to court. Chuffed

  • Tallpaul - 09/09/2014 16:30

    Perhaps we are all in the wrong industries, stealing cars seems to be very lucrative.... and even if you get caught red handed you will still get away with it..... it seems this country is getting more and more like South Africa every day!!

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