The Home Office has announced the formation of a group drawn from the the public and private sectors to oversee a reduction in vehicle theft.

The move follows a commitment given by the Prime Minister Tony Blair at last year's Labour Party Conference to reducing car crime by nearly a third over the next few years. The target follows a 28% reduction over the last five years and comes on the eve of what many in the police service think may be a period of increasing levels of crime.

The new group, to be known as the Vehicle Crime Reduction Action Team, includes the Association of British Insurers as well as the police, the Home Office, motor manufacturers and others.

The group's proposals, published in the current edition of the Home Office police research unit magazine 'Focus', include the development of a secure car parks scheme, the close involvement of the DVLC in detecting the sale of stolen vehicles, improving vehicle perimeter security, marking component parts with serial numbers, close regulation of the motor salvage industry, improved criminal intelligence and the compulsory carrying of driving documents by drivers.