Commenting on new Home Office data released today that shows an increase in vehicle thefts, RAC Insurance director Mark Godfrey said:
“These figures show a very alarming 49% increase in vehicle thefts in just five years. In 2018, nearly 120,000 thefts were reported, the equivalent of one being stolen every five minutes or 300 a day.
“The current financial year has also not started well, with nearly 60,000 vehicle thefts already recorded up to the end of last September.
“They also paint a very depressing picture of a society where it is all too easy for gangs of thieves to break in and steal vehicles, and where there are fewer police officers to catch them and bring them to justice. From 2013 to 2018 we lost 5,975 police officers, but looking further back to 2006 the story is even worse with 21,958 fewer officers which represents a 15% reduction.
“Every vehicle stolen and not returned safely to its owner represents a cost that is borne by every motorist who lawfully pays their insurance. If the number of thefts could be reduced, then insurance premiums would undoubtedly be lower. Aside from this it is impossible to underestimate the impact on individuals and business who suffer from this type of crime.”