Safety systems 'help cut car crime'

Advanced security features installed in vehicles have significantly reduced car crime, figures from the police and the car insurance industry have shown.

A raft of security systems such as alarms, locks, immobilisers, toughened glass and tracking devices in newer cars have slashed the number of cars being stolen in recent years.

Last year 107,000 vehicles were reported as stolen, down from 119,000 in 2009 and 143,000 in 2008 and significantly down on the 600,000 a year which were taken two decades ago. Around 80% of stolen cars are taken using the owners' keys.

Andrew Miller, director of research at Berkshire-based motor insurance repair research centre, Thatcham, said: "We are doing everything possible to crack down on car crime. Now it is the motorist's responsibility to drive down vehicle theft figures."

Meanwhile, 2011 British Insurance Vehicle Security Awards announced Volkswagen UK as the winner of the overall manufacturer award with Audi UK in the second spot and Volvo UK third.

Vauxhall UK was given the top van manufacturer award.

Individual awards were given to the Audi A1, the Volvo C30 and the Citroen C5 Exclusive.

Copyright © Press Association 2011