96% of car thefts go unsolved

Just four per cent of car thefts last year led to someone being charged or summonsed.

According to a Freedom of Information request by the Liberal Democrats, police failed even to attend 72% of cases.

Based on data provided by 32 UK police forces, 30,900 car thefts were unattended in 2023, which represents a rise of 32% since 2021.

Cambridgeshire was the worst performing police force, with 90% of car thefts unattended, followed closely by Bedfordshire (88%), and Derbyshire and Avon and Somerset (87%).

At the opposite end of the scale, only 12% of cases were unattended in Wiltshire.

Meanwhile, the Ford Fiesta was the popular model among car thieves with 5,976 vehicles stolen during 2023. This was more than double the second most stolen vehicle, the Ford Focus (2,120). Also among the stolen cars were the Volkswagen Golf (2,038), Mercedes-Benz C Class (1,786), and Range Rover Sport (1,631).

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, said: “No wonder the vast majority of car thefts are going unsolved if officers aren’t even showing up at the scene for most of these cases. Having your car stolen is a traumatic experience but knowing that the criminal will get away with it and the police won’t turn up makes it even worse.”