Car is stolen in UK every six minutes

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Almost 9,000 vehicles across the UK were stolen in just 36 days at the beginning of 2011, equating to one every six minutes, reports the Association of Chief Police Officers Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service.

The statistics have been revealed ahead of AVCIS’ Car Crime Awareness Week, which takes place from June 13th-19th. The initiative aims to raise public awareness of vehicle crime methods to drive down offences.

This new data illustrates that 50% of thefts were made when a vehicle was left at the owner’s home or close by, including 17.6% through the burglary of properties to obtain car keys.

A third were stolen when vehicles were away from 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 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.”