A study of data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has revealed vehicle theft rose by 24.9% during 2022 when compared to 2021 figures.

The analysis was conducted by AA Insurance Services, and found a total of 130,389 vehicles were stolen across England and Wales in 2022, an increase from the figure of 104,435 in 2021.

The study also found 212,900 people had items stolen from their vehicle, a 9.9% increase from the figure of 193,647 for 2021. With Devon and Cornwall police unable to provide the ONS with numbers, the AA said “the true figure is likely to be higher”.

Criminals are employing hi-tech methods to steal cars, including relay theft, signal blocking and key cloning. While manufacturers are improving key security, thieves are using more technical tactics to target security systems.

However, when it comes to stealing from vehicles, smashing or forcing windows and doors is the typically adopted approach. As a result, the Insurance Services are advising car owners to avoid storing valuables in their vehicle, or at a minimum, to keep them out of view and hidden.

Having deterrents in place, such as a steering wheel lock, can also be a valuable move for caravanners who want to protect their tow car.

There are also a number of steps that can be taken to enhance caravan security, including having one of the best caravan wheel locks.

Gus Park, managing director for AA Insurance Services, said: “These figures are in danger of getting out of control, which if left to spiral further will have big cost implications in terms of the impact to wider society let alone the price policy holders pay. We urge Police Chiefs and Crime Commissioners across the country to create an action plan to crack the case.”

“Unfortunately, there is no one thing that can guarantee keeping your car safe from theft, but just making it a bit harder for the thieves can make it less likely that they’ll go for your car. Don’t give miscreants an easy win, make them think about finding an easier target than your pride and joy.”

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