Only 1 in 20 car thefts in the UK leads to an arrest: ‘We do take it seriously’ say police

Liverpool: CCTV shows moment woman’s car is stolen

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Newly-released figures show a shockingly low 4.9 per cent of the 100,000 vehicles stolen last year in England and Wales led to someone being apprehended. And in some cities the statistic was even worse, with the proportion of car thieves charged as low as one in 40.

On average in 2021 some 272 cars were stolen every day, which works out to one taken every five minutes.

However police managed to track down and charge those involved in only 13 of those daily cases on average.

In London, almost 30,000 cars were stolen last year but the Metropolitan Police were only able to charge culprits in connection with 737 offences – a rate of just 2.5 percent.

West Midlands Police, which covers Birmingham, had a similar detection rate of just 2.4 percent.

Home Office statistics show there were 99,541 car thefts reported to police in 2020-21, down on the previous year.

That drop is likely due to the pandemic, however police officers only managed to track down offenders in 4,863 cases.

A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council told the Mail: “Vehicle theft is clearly linked to organised crime and police are putting more resources into tackling it.

“It causes distress and upset, and we do take it seriously. Police will prosecute where there is evidence and we encourage people to report crime as soon as it occurs.”

The AA spokesman Jack Cousens said: ‘Sadly it seems there is little the police can do if there is no forensic evidence or video.

“There are limited resources so car crime ends up being closed almost as soon as it opens.”

He advised leaving cars parked in a garage if possible, using a Faraday pouch for keyless car fobs and using a tracking device or steering wheel lock.

The figures for the last six years relate to theft of vehicles plus joyriding.

It comes as Police Scotland spent almost £20million on a fleet of electric cars in a bid to become the “greenest force” in Britain.

In the last three years the force bought 599 specially adapted Hyundai Kona models at a cost of £15.2million, figures released last week showed.

A further £3.1million was spent on 130 charging points at 26 stations across the country, including Ayr, Dumfries, Dunblane, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hawick, and Kilmarnock.

That number is expected to increase to 400 over 50 sites.

Police Scotland confirmed that all of its electric fleet is fully operational.

The force’s spokesman said: “The strategic vision for Police Scotland is to be a fit-for-purpose, efficient, effective and sustainable 21st-century police service.

“In order to do this, significant projects are under way to create a new operating model for the organisation, including the work relating to our fleet.”

Police Scotland signed a contract worth £25million with Hyundai in 2020 to provide electric cars and aims to have an all-electric fleet by 2030.

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