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Hotspots for car theft across England and Wales

Car crime vehicle theft

New research has revealed the regions in England and Wales that see the most – and least – vehicle thefts.

Car insurance experts at Uswitch analysed how car thefts have changed over the last five years by analysing ONS crime and vehicle theft statistics, to reveal the regions with the highest rate of vehicle thefts.

London has the highest rate of vehicle crimes per head with 113.0 reported per 10,000 people.

The West Midlands have the second-highest rate of vehicle crime in England and Wales, with 87.0 crimes per 10,000 people in the area, whilst Greater Manchester places third, with 79.6 reported crimes per 10,000 people.

10 police areas with the highest rate of vehicle crime in England & Wales 

RankArea Population (2019)No. Offences to March 21Vehicle Crime Rate per 10,000
1London (Metropolitan Police)8,952,300101,131113.0
2West Midlands2,928,60025,47087.0
3Greater Manchester2,835,70022,56879.6
4Bedfordshire675,0005,07975.2
5South Yorkshire1,409,00010,26672.9
6Hertfordshire1,189,5006,95958.5
7Essex1,846,70010,39256.3
8West Yorkshire2,332,50013,08656.1
9Warwickshire577,9003,21055.5
10Northamptonshire753,3004,13454.9

Meanwhile, the area covering the Welsh regions of Dyfed and Powys has the lowest rate of vehicle crime in the country, standing at 12.1 crimes per 10,000 people.

Regions in England and Wales that see the lowest rate of vehicle theft

RankAreaPopulation (2019)No. Offences to March 21Vehicle Crime Rate per 10,000
1Dyfed-Powys519,70062812.1
2Cumbria500,00070414.1
3North Wales699,6001,06115.2
4Devon and Cornwall1,772,5003,10717.5
5North Yorkshire828,7001,53418.5

The Uswitch study also revealed that from 2016 to 2021, national vehicle crime numbers fell by 8.70% from 365,037 to 336,650.

North Wales has seen the biggest reduction in vehicle crime in the last 5 years, with the number of offences falling by 48.3% to 1,061 in the year to March 2021.

The Metropolitan Police saw the biggest increase in vehicle crime anywhere in the country, with numbers rising by as much as 22.1%.

Since Covid-19, vehicle crime has reduced nationwide by 27.13% with over 100,000 fewer crimes being recorded during the first year of the pandemic.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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