Vehicle crime across the UK has fallen to a 20-year low, according to a Home Office report.
It reveals that vehicle theft and break-ins have reduced by 80% since 1993, despite the fact there are eight million more vehicles on the road today.
There are now approximately three vehicle thefts and 10 vehicle break-ins for every 1,000 vehicles on the road, compared to 20 thefts and 40 break-ins in 1993.
The Home Office attributes the decline in vehicle crime to the growing popularity of anti-theft devices such as steering locks and electronic immobilisers, which were introduced in the 1960s and 1980s respectively, reports the Press Association.
Modern technologies like number plate recognition cameras, CCTV surveillance and vehicle trackers are also helping to deter criminals.
Mike Penning, minister for policing, crime, criminal justice and victims, says better policing has played a part as well.
However, the fall hasn’t stopped commercial fleet operators being targeted. Police issued a warning recently of an increase in ‘keyless’ vehicle theft affecting vans.
The warning came from Superintendent Paul Keasey of West Midlands Police, head of the UK’s Central Motorway Police Group, speaking at the National Light Commercial Vehicle Workshop.
Keasey said keyless vehicle theft was a national issue, with London as the worst affected.
He said: “The technology is no longer just in the higher end of the market, it’s used by all producers of vans, and vans are using it because it’s the new gimmick.
“The fact criminals want to do something with it is something we need to be much more aware of as we move forward.”