Car theft: Driver warning issued as cases surge – is your area at risk? Hotspot shared

Car theft: New technology 'makes it easier' says expert

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Most crimes, including car theft, dropped significantly at the start of the pandemic, and remained lower than usual over the course of the last year. Provisional figures from the National Police Chiefs’ Council show a 3.1 percent increase between May 2021 and June 2021 in vehicle crime overall.

The bulk of this comes from keyless car theft.

Organised crime gangs use relay technology to receive the signal from a key inside the house and transfer it to a portable device.

This then allows them to use the device as a substitute for the key, letting them unlock and drive the car away.

One of the worst hit areas for car theft was Avon and Somerset, with Bristol being a hotspot.

The latest official figures from the Home Office reveal there were 854 car thefts recorded in Bristol by Avon and Somerset police in 2020/21, which was down from 1,144 the year before.

According to Bristol Live, this included 18 cases of aggravated car theft, where the stolen vehicle was driven dangerously, damaged another vehicle or other property, or someone was injured.

Bristol recorded nearly double the amount of car theft per head than anywhere else in the area.

The NPCC lead for vehicle crime, Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims warned drivers of the threat of car thefts.

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She said: “Car theft is a serious crime that causes significant distress and upset to owners and police are putting considerable resources into tackling it and bringing those responsible to justice.

“Whilst the rapid development of technology has dramatically improved the experience of drivers it has also allowed criminals to exploit weaknesses in electronic security.

“We are working closely with car manufacturers to help them design out crime by sharing intelligence and equipment seized from criminals.

“We are already making substantial progress in this regard.

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