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Merseyside tops Christmas car crime hotspot list for past three years

thief trying to break into a vehicle

Merseyside, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire have had the highest recorded car theft offences during December for the past three years, according to research by Leasing Options.

There were almost 12,000 (11,703) reported instances of car theft during the month of December in 2014, 2015 and 2016 according to 10 UK constabularies.

Although there is a 10% decrease in crime rates in December as a whole compared to the rest of the year, regions such as Merseyside and Lancashire have seen a rise of up to 40%.

Merseyside had 3,133 recorded instances of car theft during the last three Decembers, almost double the other cities on the top 10 list and a 21% increase in car thefts compared to the other 11 months throughout the year.

Lancashire was second with 1,873 car theft cases and a 32% increase over the three year period, and Nottinghamshire came third with 1,313 cases and a 12% increase.

Northamptonshire saw the biggest increase in car theft over the past three Decembers with a 50% rise from 304 recorded instances in December 2014 and 507 in December 2016.

Security expert Michael Fraser, said: “Car burglaries are a regular occurrence in cities at this time of year and many people are unknowingly putting their cars at risk by not taking the correct precautions.

“Leaving cars in unsecure areas such as dark car parks or under trees with no lighting, makes it easier for thieves to enter the vehicle without the car owner knowing and thieves know they are less likely to get caught on security cameras.

“The common mistake, however, is leaving valuables on display. Many of us do not think to put items like our sat-navs away once we have finished using them, or clean the mark off the windscreen, but these can easily attract unwanted attention.

“Members of the public could also be unaware that any highly valuable technology inside your car won’t be covered on your car insurance unless you have made your insurance provider aware that you are leaving them in the car.

“Unfortunately police forces currently don’t always  have the resource to follow up on car theft crimes or home burglaries. These crimes are constantly being pushed down the list of priorities.”

Mike Thompson, brand manager at Leasing Options,added: “Christmas is a prime time for theft across the UK with many of us relaxing our security conscious mindset as we focus on the festivities.

“Always make sure your car keys are out of reach, that your car is locked, and that valuables out of sight, so that you can enjoy the Christmas celebrations with peace of mind.”

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