Vehicle theft up by more than 50%, finds RAC Insurance

Thieves stole more than 150,000 vehicles in 2018/19, up by 56% (54,932 vehicles) on the previous year, according to RAC Insurance analysis.

Following a Freedom of Information request, the broker analysed figures from police forces for the years 2014/15 to 2018/19.

The Metropolitan Police reported the highest increase in the number of thefts. In 2018/19 a total of 30,733 vehicles were stolen, up by 9,635 on the previous year. West Midlands police force reported an increase of 5,677 vehicle thefts for the year, taking its total to 10,372.

Six forces recorded a more than doubling in the number of vehicles stolen between 2014-15 and 2018-19, with the biggest jumps in Suffolk (up 172% from 347 to 945 thefts), Surrey (up 133% from 661 to 1,543 thefts) and the West Midlands.

Only Lincolnshire, the City of London and Police Scotland recorded a reduction in thefts over this period.

Simon Williams, RAC Insurance spokesperson said: “These figures paint a rather disturbing picture – vehicle thefts are on the rise almost everywhere, and in some parts of the country numbers are rocketing. It’s also not the case that the rises in crime are confined to a few larger urban areas, with many police forces covering more rural areas also seeing big increases.”

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