Nine out of ten car thieves go uncaught while number of stolen vehicles rises

106,000 offences of thefts reported in year up to March but no suspect was identified in more than 80,000 cases

Nine out of ten car thieves go uncaught while number of stolen vehicles rises
Too many investigations are closing without suspects being identified, says Labour MP Yvette Cooper.

Some of the UK’s biggest police forces are failing to identify suspects in more than 90 per cent of car thefts.

The number of stolen vehicles has reached the highest level in almost a decade, after years of decline.

Home Office data shows that police close 77 per cent of vehicle theft investigations with no suspect having been identified.

In some parts of the country, including the West Midlands, that figure rises to over 90 per cent.

In the year up to March over 106,000 offences of theft of or unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle were reported to police forces in England and Wales – the highest annual total since 2009.

“No fear of being caught”

RAC Insurance spokesman, Simon Williams said: “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.”

It’s thought organised criminal gangs steal high value cars to ship them overseas.

Keyless technology has also been blamed for a rise in offences, with thieves using special devices to bypass vehicle security.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who chairs the Commons Home Affairs Committee, said: “Too many investigations are closing without suspects identified and we are hearing increasing reports of the police being too overstretched to investigate.

“Failing to identify suspects gives a green light to reoffend.”

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