The End Of The Road For Car Theft?
I was sent a link last week to an article on the BBC News website. You might have seen it or read a version of it in the newspapers or heard about it on the radio.
It was a simple story: Over the last 7 years car theft has fallen by about two-thirds.
That’s an amazing statistic and it becomes even more amazing if you look back a bit further. 20 years ago about 600,000 cars a year were stolen – let’s call it 1600 a day or more than one every minute.
Fast forward to 2010 and the total cars stolen figure had dropped to 107,000 across the year – less than 300 a day or about one every 5 minutes.
So what’s happened to reduce car theft by over 80% since 1990? Well it’s simply become hard work for thieves. Modern car keys are coded; alarms, locks and immobilisers are better; toughened glass is getting tougher; and tracking devices make a clean getaway less likely.
And things appear to be getting tougher for thieves – the vast majority of thefts nowadays are of cars that are over three years’ old, suggesting that newer cars are an even harder nut to crack.
Every silver lining has a cloud though and this one is no exception. Because car thieves increasingly need the correct car keys in order to steal a car (80% of thefts use the vehicle’s keys), around 1 in 5 home burglaries are carried out in order to steal them! And the spectre of increased numbers of “car-jackings” is another potential threat.
For Britain’s motorists though the news of a reduction in car theft is very welcome, particularly the drivers of Volkswagen cars and Vauxhall vans, the marques that topped the manufacturer’s tables at the recent 2011 British Insurance Vehicle Security Awards (the Audi A1, Citroen C5 and Volvo C30 also got honourable mentions).