Vehicle thefts double reported figure

Vehicle theft in England and Wales in 2021 was more than double that had been reported.

This is according to data revealed in a Freedom of Information Act request to the Home Office and obtained by Kent-based Claims Management & Adjusting (CMA). It found that 101,198 vehicles were stolen in 2021 rather than the 48,400 widely reported in the national media.

CMA managing director Philip Swift, said: “In March, I read an article about car crime rocketing in the West Midlands, and how the local Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) had written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to demand action. This is very much our business, so we requested the correspondence under the FoIA. It turned out to be extremely revealing as to the true extent of the vehicle crimewave we are currently experiencing in this country.”

He continued: “Yes, the rate has dropped from the 180,000 a year in 2006, when the Home Office stopped publishing the annual car theft index. But you also have to look at the changing nature of car crime, view the picture as a whole, to understand the size of the problem and how to tackle it. Theft numbers are just one facet.

“Twenty years ago, the typical vehicle theft was an old Ford Escort. Now, it is a nearly new high-end Range Rover worth £100k. For the insurance industry, in pound note terms, the current situation is significantly worse.”