The Ford Transit remains at the top of a car thief’s hit list reveals the UK’s police unit dedicated to vehicle crime, the ACPO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (AVCIS).
Thieves’ FavouritesThe workman’s favourite is the most popular vehicle to be stolen in the first quarter of 2011,* illustrating that it’s not just those with high-end vehicles that need to be wary of theft. Not only does a van such as the Ford Transit prove to be valuable in terms of spare parts or as scrap metal, but the lure of potential tools and other contents stored in the back makes it irresistible for thieves.
“Vehicles appearing in the list may surprise motorists,” said Head of AVCIS, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Hooper. “Although high-end cars are stolen to order by criminals, those driving more affordable vehicles should not be complacent. Whatever vehicle you drive, security should always be a priority.”
The list has been released as part of Car Crime Awareness Week, which runs 13-19 June 2011, in order to raise general awareness of vehicle crime and remind motorists to be vigilant and security-conscious.
Top ten stolen vehicles in Q1 2011
1) Ford Transit
2) Vauxhall Astra
3) Ford Fiesta
4) Volkswagen Golf
5) Vauxhall Corsa
6) BMW 3 Series
7) Ford Focus
8) Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
9) Ford Mondeo
10) Honda Civic
As part of Car Crime Awareness Week, AVCIS is advising motorists to follow these guidelines to prevent their vehicles from being targeted by criminals:
• Ensure that car keys are not left in sight within your house: thieves often fish keys through letterboxes and open windows
• If you have a garage, store your car there whenever possible
• With the summer months approaching, people often leave doors and windows open: ensure your keys aren’t easily accessible for opportunist thieves, but equally do not hide them and put yourself at risk of harm from a determined thief
• Lock your car whenever you leave it. Even if you are simply unloading the car, make sure that you remove the keys and lock the vehicle. If your car is stolen through these means if often invalidates your insurance
*1 January – 31 March 2011 AVCIS data on file
Almost 9,000 vehicles across the UK were stolen in just 36 days at the beginning of 2011, reports the Association of Chief Police Officers Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (AVCIS).
The statistics have been revealed ahead of AVCIS’ Car Crime Awareness Week, which takes place on 13-19 June 2011. The initiative aims to raise the public’s awareness of vehicle crime methods in order to drive down offences.
This new data illustrates that 50 per cent of thefts were made when a vehicle was left at the owner’s home address or close by, including 17.6 per cent through the burglary of properties to obtain car keys.
A third were stolen when vehicles were away from the home and four per cent of crimes during the 36 day sample were made by opportunist thieves, where keys were left in or within easy reach of the vehicle. Shockingly, this would mean that annually 3,400 thefts could be easily prevented through heightened awareness.
“These figures demonstrate that vehicle crime continues to be an issue across the UK,” said Detective Chief Inspector Mark Hooper, Head of AVCIS. “Criminals will use a variety of means to steal cars, from towing them away or simply driving them off when owners leave the keys in the ignition to burgling houses and sophisticated attacks on manufacturers’ security systems.
“Our aim is to increase general awareness, including encouraging motorists to take simple precautions and advise manufacturers of criminals’ methods so they can continue to help drive down vehicle crime.
In the lead up and during Car Crime Awareness Week AVCIS will release information on the current state of vehicle crime relating to freight vehicles, agricultural equipment, caravans and motorhomes, as well as to the general motorist.
For more information on vehicle crime and AVCIS visit http://www.avcis.police.uk/ or the Car Crime Awareness Week Facebook page www.facebook.com/CarCrimeAwarenessWeek .
UK lost or stolen vehicles 1 January 2011 – 5 February 2011
(36 day sample*)
Number & Method of theft
• 2,916 (33%) Home address or vicinity where the owner claims to have the keys
• 2,824 (32%) Unattended away from the home where the owner claims to have the keys
• 1,555 (17.6%) Car key burglary
• 1,037 (11.7%) Unrecorded details/unconfirmed loss/vehicle not stolen
• 342 (3.9%) Unattended with keys
• 98 (1.1%) Direct robbery of vehicle
• 54 (0.6%) Acquired by fraud
*Statistics have been generated from the Police National Computer using keywords. Additional offences may have occurred and are not identified within this report.