Economy

Insurance fears after vehicle thefts rise sharply in West Yorkshire

Insurance fears after vehicle thefts rise sharply in West Yorkshireā€¯

Vehicle thefts have risen by 30% in the last three years following a decade of decline, RAC figures suggest.

The figures were released by 40 police forces following Freedom of Information requests submitted by RAC.

With 5930 stolen vehicle reports, the West Midlands was the second worst region in 2016.

RAC insurance director Mark Godfrey said the increase reverses a general trend of a fall in vehicle thefts since around 2002.

"To guard against falling victim to these auto thieves, police are advising drivers to invest in a physical deterrent like a classic steel steering lock". We fear that thieves are now becoming better equipped with technology that's capable of defeating vehicle manufacturers' anti-theft systems.

Mr Godfrey said the statistics were "bad news" for motorists as the increase causes insurance premiums to rise.

Insurance fears after vehicle thefts rise sharply in West Yorkshire

'They are still a very effective visible deterrent, ' he said.

A spokesman for Halfords said they had seen a sharp rise in the sale of traditional security devices in recent months, following a spike in auto crime.

According to data gained from police forces in England and Wales, the worst region for auto theft in 2016 was London, with nearly 26,500 thefts reported by the Metropolitan Police in 2016. Technological advances in immobilisers, vehicle keys and alarms helped reduce the number of thefts, which bottomed out around 2013.

Historically, auto theft was a much bigger problem, with more than 300,000 vehicles stolen in 2002.

"Police forces are working with the Home Office, the National Crime Agency, the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service, Europol and auto manufacturers to design-out crime and disrupt these networks".

They appeared to be using some sort of transmitting device inside the bag which was thought to have extended the signal from the car's keyless fob which was inside the house.



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