Alarming: over half of stolen cars never returned

Alarming: over half of stolen cars never returned
Fewer than half of all stolen cars over the last 10 years have been recovered by police, new figures show.

A total of 522,214 vehicles were logged as stolen across the UK between 2009 and 2018 – yet just 236,636 were recovered.

This equates to an average nationwide recovery rate of 45.32%, and with figures unavailable for 20 of the country’s 45 police forces, the real number could be even more concerning.

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RAC spokesman Simon Williams says that, coupled with the fact vehicle thefts are increasing across the UK, the figures paint an “alarming picture” for car owners.

Collated from a series of Freedom of Information requests to UK police forces, the data shows significant geographical variations in recovery rates.

Merseyside Police recorded 35,624 vehicles as stolen between 2009 and 2018 and logged 26,816 as recovered — a recovery rate of 75.27% well above the national average.

West Midlands Police posted a recovery rate of only 11.73%, with a staggering 75,644 cars stolen and just 8,643 registered as recovered.

However, inconsistencies with how recovery rates are recorded by individual police forces mean the true scale of the problem remains unclear.

Mr Williams added: “The fact that data appears to be collected and analysed inconsistently in some cases is also a worry – this data is surely the only way to understand the scale of the problem.

“While it is well-documented that police forces are under severe resource pressures, it is ironic that clearer data would support their case for additional government spending.” 

These figures were collected by motoring magazine Auto Express.

Copyright Press Association 2019. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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