West Midlands Police figures have revealed that the total number of vehicle crimes has risen by 64% over the last 5 years, and they’re continuing to rise. The number of stolen vehicles has tripled since 2015 too.
Vehicle crimes include cars being stolen, car key theft, and theft from vehicles.
According to the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, the most common makes to be stolen include Ford, Audi and BMW which account for over 50% of thefts in the first six months of this year. Vehicle crimes are also much higher than other theft-related crimes such as shoplifting or bike thefts.
Areas in the West Midlands have been affected differently, with Birmingham city and Sandwell the most affected in 2017.
West Midlands Police and the PCC have taken to social media to warn people about the rise in crime and how to prevent it. One of the most effective anti-theft measures is a steering wheel lock which stops thieves from being able to drive.
If you’re heading out today a quick reminder to keep all your valuables out of sight when your cars parked. 🚗
Phones, wallets, money, bags, tablets and sat-navs all could attract potential thieves. 📱 👜
Follow our directions to our website for more advice 👇⬇
— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) July 29, 2018
David Jamieson has also been critical of car manufacturers and keyless systems which make cars more vulnerable to break-ins:
As keyless technology has grown in popularity more and more cars have vanished from driveways as their owners sleep. Some vehicles are being stolen by criminals in less than a minute.
He also announced that shutting down ‘chop-shops’ – businesses that dissemble stolen cars to be sold on – and catching serial offenders would be a top priority for West Midlands Police.
For more information and advice, go to West Midlands Police’s website.