The Home Office has confirmed there were 101,198 reported vehicle thefts in 2021, more than twice the figure of 48,400 West Midlands police advised Grant Shapps earlier this year.
At CMA, we scrutinize stolen vehicle claims on behalf of insurers, help vehicle information suppliers, and those who have been unfortunate enough to acquire a vehicle with an adverse history – on occasions innocent purchasers* acquire stolen vehicles.
The 48,400 figure bandied about in the national and motoring press in February 2020 was incredibly low, obviously unrealistic. Now, our diligence has revealed this new Home Office figure: 101,198 vehicle thefts in England and Wales alone last year, with the rate likely rising post-pandemic.
The BodyShop takes up the story here
- The West Midlands Police letter to Grant Shapps can be read here.
- The Home Office response can be read here.
- The WMP supportive evidence for 48,800 figure can be read here: FOI – 024 – 22 – Attachment 1 Transport Secretary for Grant Shapps
As WMP does not appear not to record the theft methodology, we asked for the supportive evidence ‘the introduction of keyless technology has also led to the dramatic increase’ & use of ‘technology to get around the onboard electronic security systems, such as copying digital keys or using devices to stop a car from locking’. The WMPCC responded:
This view is information West Midlands Police may hold and has advised the Police and Crime Commissioner on. In order to be of assistance, please see the following contact details should you wish to submit this question to West Midlands Police:
We have written to the WMP as suggested. We have also returned to the Home Office for the evidence in support of the 100,000+ theft figure in 2021.
It is deeply concerning the police are seemingly unaware of the extent of the problem. Furthermore, theft numbers are just one facet, 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.
We will be reporting further on the issue in the near future.
*a constabulary once responded ‘there is no such thing as an innocent purchaser!’.