The UK’s best and worst areas for car theft have been revealed in new data, with bad news for city dwellers in England’s south east but plenty to smile about for Scottish car owners.
Romford has been named the country’s car theft capital for the second year in a row following analysis of millions of car insurance enquiries by Money Supermarket.
Drivers in the town to the east of London reported the most car theft claims, with a rate of 16.38 per 1,000 enquiries so far in 2021. That is up from 15.74 per 1,000 in 2020 and puts the RM postcode firmly at the top of the list of car theft hotspots.
Nearby Ilford and Barking (IG postcode) was a close second, also for the second year, with 15.71 drivers per 1,000 saying they had made a claim for vehicle theft. Two more London postcodes - N for North London and EN for Enfield - also made unwelcome appearances in the top five, just behind Birmingham, where 13.33 cases were registered for every 1,000 quotes.
Drivers in Scotland fared far better, with six of the 10 safest areas found north of the border. The DG postcode, which covers Dumfries and Galloway in the country’s south-west, proved safest of all, with a theft rate of 0.37 per 1,000 enquiries. Just behind it were Inverness (IV) and the Isle of Man (IM), both returning rates of 0.39 per 1,000.
Kirkwall (KW), on Orkney, and Llandrindod Wells in central Wales completed the top five, ahead of three more Scottish areas - Perth, Paisley and Galashiels - and two postcodes in south-west England - Plymouth and Exeter.
Praksha Patel-Shah, car insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “Not only can where you live and park your car increase the likelihood of you experiencing car theft, but criminals are now becoming more inventive and sophisticated when it comes to modern vehicles, so extra preventions may be necessary.
“Our research shows that urban, built-up areas have the highest incidences of car theft, while more rural, remote areas tend to record fewer instances. Insurers do consider your location when providing you with a quote, so if you live in an area with a high theft rate, you might see this reflected in higher premiums.”
Police chiefs warned recently that keyless thefts of cars were on the rise. The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) reported a three per cent increase in vehicle crime between May and June this year and blamed the bulk of this rise on keyless or relay attacks.
Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims, the NPCC’s lead for vehicle crime, warned that organised crime gangs were increasingly exploiting vulnerabilities in modern car’s entry systems to bypass alarms and immobilisers.