The increased crime is ‘worrying for everyone’, says managing director

Vehicle and residential thefts are ”getting out of control” - and it could have “big cost implications” on the prices policyholders pay.

That was according to AA Insurance Services, which highlighted today (23 May 2023) that vehicle thefts across England and Wales in 2022 increased by 24.9% to 130,389 cases, up from 104,435 in 2021.

Theft from vehicles also rose year-on-year from 193,647 to 212,900, while residential burglary increased by 2.9% – in 2022, 191,094 householders had items stolen from their homes, up from 185,683 in 2021.

AA’s findings came from an analysis of statistics from the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) dataset, Crime in England and Wales: Appendix tables, which was released in April 2023.

It said that Devon and Cornwall Police were unable to supply figures to the ONS, meaning the true figure in terms of vehicle crime was likely to be higher.

Gus Park, managing director of insurance and financial services at the AA, urged police chiefs and crime commissioners across the country to create an action plan to clamp down on the issue.

“The rise in vehicle and residential thefts are worrying for everyone and highlights that security of both car and home are vitally important,” he added.

“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 policyholders pay.”

’Advanced practices’

AA further noted that criminals were “keeping pace with manufacturers by using a variety of hi-tech methods” to steal vehicles – including relay theft, key cloning and signal blocking.

It said thieves were also using “new advanced practices to attack vehicle security systems”.

In terms of household items, AA said bikes, lawn mowers, barbecues, pizza ovens and games consoles were all highly prized by criminals, in addition to the usual target items such as jewellery.

It added one technological advancement that was helping identify and spot criminal activity were doorbell cameras.