Thanks to the motor industry, says the motor industry
Home Office figures released this week show vehicle crime fell 17 per cent in the third quarter of 2004, compared to the same period in 2003. In addition, figures from the British Crime Survey 2003/04 show thefts of vehicles have dropped the most, down 13 per cent. Theft from vehicles is down six per cent compared to the previous 12 months. The survey also showed that vehicle theft has fallen 40 per cent since 1997.
Electronic immobilisers, fitted to all vehicles as standard since 1998, are the biggest factor in the reduction in car crime, according to the Home Office. Deadlocks, alarms and shielded locks also make newer vehicles more difficult to steal; with 87 per cent of vehicle thefts being of cars over three years old.
Motor industry spokesman chief executive Christopher Macgowan said, 'These figures are a positive reflection of the work vehicle manufacturers have done to make cars more secure. Nevertheless, car crime is still a problem and we all have a responsibility to drive out criminal activity. Car owners can help by ensuring they do not leave valuables on show in their vehicles.'
With vehicles more difficult to break into, the main issues are the environment in which a vehicle is kept and objects left in them. A residential street is still the most likely place for car crime to take place, while personal goods are more likely to be stolen than radios and sound systems.
Of course, what this self-serving statement, issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), doesn't mention is that burglaries from homes to steal car keys are probably on the increase...