Experts claim a drop in police numbers could be one reason


According to official statistics, there’s been a shocking increase in vehicle thefts in the UK, with reports that 111,999 were stolen in 2018.

The number of vehicles stolen in the UK has risen by nearly 50% over a five year period, with experts claiming a drop in police numbers could be the reason.

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Car theft in the UK has increased by almost 50% over a five year period, with experts blaming a drop in the number of police officers. © Copyright Peter Barr and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Statistics revealed by the Home Office show that back in the financial year 2013-14, a total of 75,308 vehicles were reported stolen to the police – this figure now stands at 111,999 in the financial year 2017-18. This equates to a 48.7% rise, with one vehicle being stolen every five minutes, or 300 every days, during the last full financial year.

It’s believed two current trends in the UK could be the reason why car thefts over the past five years have increased; the introduction of keyless systems and a drop in the number of police officers.

There’s no data on how these vehicles were stolen but the number of police officers in the UK are at their lowest level since the 1980s – since 2006, there’s a total of 21,958 less police officers which represents a 15% drop.

Also on the increase is theft from a vehicle, with 258,346 being recorded in 2016-17, showing an increase of 8.4% in just a year as 2017-18’s figure stands at 280,032.

These latest figures have been described as “very alarming” by RAC’s insurance director Mark Godfrey, also adding that the rise in vehicle thefts shows a “depressing picture of a society where it is all too easy for gangs of thieves to break in and steal vehicles”.

According to previous research, more cars were stolen in 2017 than at any other time since 2011 and experts blamed the decline of police officers as well as criminals finding new ways of bypassing modern vehicle security systems.


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