Great Britain

Vehicle thefts up more than 60 per cent in four years across the county

THEFTS of motor vehicles in West Yorkshire have risen by almost 61 per cent, against a national average of 56 per cent in four years, new figures obtained by RAC Insurance show.

Across the UK Some 152,541 vehicles were stolen in 2018/19 compared with 97,609 in 2014/15, according to police data.

In West Yorkshire the figures were 3,573 between April 1 2014 to March 31 2015 but these rose to 5,871 between April 1 2018 to March 31 2019.

RAC Insurance spokesman Simon Williams said: "These figures paint a rather disturbing picture. Vehicle thefts are on the rise almost everywhere, and in some parts of the country numbers are rocketing.

"It's also not the case that the rises in crime are confined to a few larger urban areas, with many police forces covering more rural areas also seeing big increases.

"While vehicle crime is at far lower levels today than it was in the early 1990s thanks to improvements in vehicle security, and the number of vehicles licensed to be driven on the UK's roads is higher than at any point in the past, it's still concerning that so many more vehicles are being stolen than just a few years ago."

He believes the increase is partly due to a rise in thefts of vehicles that are easier to steal, such as motorbikes and mopeds which are less likely to have immobilisers.

Government data shows that thieves use a key in nearly half of incidents, indicating that many drivers can do more to protect their vehicles.

Mr Williams went on: "While organised criminal gangs are responsible for a large proportion of crime, thieves will also be opportunistic in nature so the more a driver can do to make their car a less likely target the better."

Here is a breakdown of the number of vehicle thefts recorded by UK police forces.

Comparable data was not provided by forces in Gloucestershire, Gwent and Norfolk.

The figures give the number of thefts from April 1 2014 to March 31 2015, followed by April 1 2018 to March 31 2019.

Avon and Somerset: 1,574 and 2,316

Bedfordshire: 846 and 1,445

Cambridgeshire: 641 and 1,144

Cheshire: 784 and 1,084

City of London: 104 and 75 (data provided for the calendar years of 2014 and 2018 respectively)

Cleveland: 630 and 824

Cumbria: 220 and 260

Derbyshire: 1,021 and 1,549

Devon and Cornwall: 580 and 839

Dorset: 501 and 864

Durham: 560 and 828

Dyfed-Powys: 23 and 45

Essex: 2,936 and 5,409

Greater Manchester: 3,018 and 6,223

Hampshire: 711 and 1,504

Hertfordshire: 874 and 1,695

Humberside: 873 and 1,440

Kent: 2,429 and 3,609

Lancashire: 1,691 and 2,634

Leicestershire: 1,295 and 1,934

Lincolnshire: 73 and 45

Merseyside: 1,733 and 2,592

Metropolitan Police: 21,138 and 30,773

North Wales: 377 and 612

North Yorkshire: 413 and 510

Northamptonshire: 708 and 1,068

Northumbria: 1,025 and 1,805

Nottinghamshire: 1,150 and 2,463

Police Scotland: 5,423 and 4,950

South Wales: 1,490 and 1,958

South Yorkshire: 1,682 and 2,797

Staffordshire: 944 and 1,831

Suffolk: 347 and 945

Surrey: 661 and 1,543

Sussex: 1,231 and 2,171

Thames Valley: 2,011 and 3,735

Warwickshire: 590 and 944

West Mercia: 857 and 1,389

West Midlands: 4,695 and 10,372

West Yorkshire: 3,573 and 5,871

Wiltshire: 430 and 563

Total: 97,609 and 152,541

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