Jump to site navigation [j]

Crime and victims

Vehicle crime

Most vehicle crime is opportunistic and therefore preventable. By following some straightforward advice, and working together, we can ensure that this type of crime keeps falling.

We've already had success in reducing vehicle crime - in recent years vehicle crime in the UK has been steadily falling.

Facts & figures

  • Vehicle crime has dropped by more than 61% since it peaked in 1995. Rates dropped by 4% in 2006-07 over the previous year.
  • Nonetheless, crimes involving vehicles make up 19% of all recorded crime in England and Wales.
  • Nearly 1.7 million vehicle-related thefts were recorded in 2006-07.
  • Having security equipment on your car - especially an immobiliser - makes your vehicle more than ten times safer than a car with no security equipment.


(Source: Crime in England and Wales 2006-07).

What we’re doing about vehicle crime

Spreading the Secure Your Motor message

The Secure your Motor campaign aims to help you avoid becoming the victim of car crime by alerting you to the danger of opportunistic car thieves. Adverts have run on TV, radio and the internet, with posters at petrol pump nozzles and parking meters.

Keep it hidden

If a car park attendant, street warden or Police Community Support Officer sees a car in a public place with anything left on view, the vehicle's owner is sent a letter and leaflet offering advice on how to outsmart the criminal. It's best never to leave anything on view in your car, but if you have to, lock it in the boot where it is out of sight.

Talking to voluntary and community groups

We particularly want to draw attention to the information available on the internet to help groups relay car crime prevention messages in their neighbourhoods.

For more information, see the Crime Reduction website (new window).

The Car and Bike Theft Indexes - which kinds are stolen most often?

Every year we publish lists of the most commonly stolen cars and bikes, to help inform your decision if you're buying a new vehicle.

See the latest Car Theft Index and Bike Theft Index.

For a more detailed breakdown of the car theft index information, visit the Home Office Statistics website.

The Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001

The Act introduced the registration of motor salvage dealers and number plate suppliers, together with the Vehicle Identity Check scheme. These measures will make it harder for thieves to sell on stolen vehicles.

Help us crack car crime

Help to make sure you’re not affected by following our simple safety tips:

Home Office websites