Latest government figures show that car theft is on the increase again, and the blame lies fair and square with keyless entry systems, which are all too easy to hack.
Overall, car thefts are on the up in England and Wales, increasing by 15 per cent since 2016/17, and 40 per cent over the last five years. Police and motoring campaigners have said this is probably due to a rise in keyless car thefts.
A spokesman from the Association of British Insurers said that criminals are exploiting the vulnerabilities of the entry system by using pairs of radio transmitters to capture the signal from the vehicle’s fob, among other methods.
He added: “The theft risk will be one of many factors taken into account by insurers when assessing the price of your insurance policy.
SUSPECTS NOT BEING IDENTIFIED, OR CAUGHT
But the most worrying trend within the latest car crime data is that in some areas, like London and the West Midlands the overwhelming majority of vehicle theft cases involve NO suspect being identified by the Police. Obviously if there is no description or CCTV imagery, then there is little chance of an investigation and eventual conviction.
Out of 106,000 cases recorded last year, some 80,000 theft cases were classified as `no suspect identified,’ by the Police, across England and Wales.
Commenting on a study by the Press Association that suggests a relatively small proportion of suspects are identified in cases of vehicle theft, RAC Insurance spokesperson Simon Williams said:
“Motorists will be shocked to see the number of car thefts has risen at such an alarming rate as for many years as it had been far lower. This is a sign that thieves have found ways around car security systems and have ways of selling vehicles on with little or no fear of being caught.
“The fact fewer suspects are being identified is very worrying and no doubt a symptom of the declining number of police officers and the resulting reduction in time that can be dedicated to investigating these crimes. As cars are being stolen by professional gangs with the necessary skills and equipment, the overall number of thefts would reduce dramatically if just a few could be tracked down and prosecuted.
“While those directly affected by this crime will have to pay higher insurance premiums, there is also a nasty side effect for every motorist as it is very likely to make their insurance policies more expensive.”