Latest figures show 9,000 surge in vehicle break-ins

Latest figures show 9,000 surge in vehicle break-ins
An increase in vehicle break-ins was recorded between 2015 and 2016 – with 26 police forces dealing with a rise in cases.

Obtained by RAC Insurance, the data paints a “very worrying” picture across England, Scotland and Wales, with almost a quarter of a million thefts from vehicles reported.

Mark Godfrey, RAC Insurance director, says that on top of the distress caused, the effects of a break-in can “be felt for years to come” with inevitably hiked cover premiums.

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In total, 239,920 incidents were reported to 42 police forces across England, Scotland and Wales – with 26 noting an increase from the previous year.

The 2016 figure is 8,698 greater than that recorded for 2015 and represents a 4% rise.

Compared to 2013, the latest figures signal a 9% reduction in car theft.

The latest break-in figures came from responses to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, and compound those seen late last year by RAC Insurance, which show over 210,000 vehicles fell victim to vandalism in 2016 – a 10% increase on the number of incidents recorded in 2013.

Regionally, the City of London force saw the largest increase in cases (76%), with Northamptonshire (41%), Wiltshire and Dyfed-Powys (23%) also big risers.

Fifteen forces saw a downturn in break-ins, including Cheshire (19% fewer), Cumbria (down 11%) and North Wales (-10%).

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While acknowledging the overall reduction in thefts from vehicles between 2013 and 2016, Mr Godfrey said the number of forces witnessing rises between 2015 and 2016 was “very worrying”.

“Breaking into cars to steal things causes motorists no end of headaches,” he said. “Not only do they lose and have to try to replace their valued possessions, most will have to make an insurance claim to get their car repaired.

“While this can be a time-consuming and stressful process in itself, its effects will unfortunately be felt for years to come with increased annual premiums and having to declare the claim for three years whenever arranging a new car insurance policy.

“Anyone unlucky enough to suffer a vehicle break-in should report it to the police as soon as possible and obtain a crime reference number which will assist with the subsequent insurance claim.”

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.