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Vehicle Thefts: Figures More Than Double Recent Estimates

Official figures released by the Home Office concerning vehicle thefts are more than double recent estimates…

Rising Vehicle Thefts

According to the Home Office, a whopping 101,198 vehicle thefts were reported in 2021. For perspective, that’s more than double the estimate offered by the DVLA back in February. The discrepancy was discovered by former police officer Philip Swift, now managing director of Claims Management & Adjusting (CMA).

Swift initially wrote to the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, after reading a DVLA report that 48,400 cars were stolen in 2021. He urged the Government to hold car manufacturers to account, ensuring they take security features more seriously. However, in response to his letter, the Government actually clarified that the figure sat at 101,198 vehicle thefts in England and Wales for that year.

Whilst the figure has dropped considerably over the years (from 180,000 in 2006), Swift has argued that the nature of vehicle thefts have changed; with more expensive cars being stolen, and with recoveries becoming increasingly unlikely.

‘Significantly Worse’ 

Commenting on his initiative, Swift said “our work involves scrutinising stolen vehicle claims on behalf of insurers; and the 48,400 figure bandied about in the national and motoring press in February struck us as incredibly low. 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”.

He continued, “20 years ago, the typical vehicle theft was an old Ford Escort worth less than £5k taken for ‘joyriding’ and later recovered. Now, it is a nearly new high-end Range Rover worth £100k stolen by professional criminals and seldom recovered. For the victim, being reunited with their pride and joy is far less likely. For the insurance industry, in pound note terms, the current situation is significantly worse”.

In response to Swift’s enquires, the Government released a statement saying “the Government is working with policing leads to ensure all relevant partners are taking action to tackle this crime, including manufacturers”.

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