Staggering true number of car thefts solved should make any driver nervous

The dashcam manufacturer Nextbase has revealed that nearly 70 percent of vehicle thefts in the UK are dropped because the police cannot identify a suspect.

Using a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, only 6.7 percent of stolen vehicle cases that took place between 2019 and 2022 resulted in the thief being charged.

Dr Ken Tindell, car hacking expert and CTO of Canis Automotive Labs, explained that the general public perception of vehicle thefts is behind the times.

He advised: “The image many people have of car thieves breaking windows and hot-wiring cars is totally out of date.

“With the latest theft techniques, the criminal can relay the wireless messages from the driver’s key fob all the way to the car – telling it to unlock itself and deactivate its immobilizer. Or they clone a key fob to tell the car that the thief is the legitimate driver.”

In addition to the police figures, Nextbase also highlighted a recent survey which found that many UK motorists take little to no measures to prevent their car from being stolen.

According to a survey of 2,000 drivers, six percent of car owners stated that they do not have any security features in their vehicles.

Nevertheless, 51 percent of those surveys stated that their car is fitted with an alarm, whilst 23 percent said they always keep their key fob far away from windows and doors to prevent it from being cloned.

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Bryn Brooker, head of road safety at Nextbase, noted that drivers having a better chance of preventing or solving cases of vehicle thefts by fitting a security device such as a dashcam.

He said: “Despite their best efforts, police can’t solve many of these cases because in the vast majority of incidents there is simply no video evidence, making prosecution impossible.

“The increasing sophistication of criminals and years of underfunding makes their job incredibly difficult. This led to there being no suspect identified in two-thirds of cases.”

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The Metropolitan Police recommends that motorists always park their car responsibly, suggesting that they should find a safe space, even if it means walking an extra five or ten minutes.

Whilst using a secure and well-supervised car park is always the best option, drivers should always aim to find a well-lit area on a busy street, where thieves would easily be seen breaking into the vehicle.

Additionally, the force also noted that drivers should also consider fitting a Thatcham rated alarm system, with many models featuring tracking and movement sensors to help find a stolen vehicle.

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