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UK car theft hotspots - here's where you're most likely have your car stolen

The i logo The i 08/08/2018 Matt Allan

a man standing next to a car © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

The UK’s best and worst spots for car theft have been revealed, with startling differences across the country.

While some areas escaped any reports of stolen vehicles, others were blighted by the crime.

England’s south-east is the biggest car theft hotspot, with three of the worst-hit towns within 30 miles of each other.

Romford saw the highest rate of reported thefts, with nearby Ilford and Southend-on-Sea also in top ten.

Data from over five million car insurance enquiries between July 2017 and June 2018 was analysed to identify the areas with the highest rate of reported car theft claims within a five-year period.

The data reveals that Romford suffered a reported rate of 13.5 thefts per 1,000 people. Neighbouring Ilford comes a close second with 13 per 1,000.

a tall building in a city © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Ten worst car theft locations

Romford (13.5 thefts/1,000 capita) Ilford (13.0) Birmingham (9.5) Halifax (8.6) Liverpool (8.2) Southend-on-Sea (8.1) East London (7.2) Bromley (7.2) Bradford (7.0) Stockport (7.0)

Birmingham comes third at 9.5 - considerably higher than the West Midlands as a whole, which sits at just 6.1. The Yorkshire borough of Halifax comes in fourth with a rate of 8.6, followed by Liverpool at 8.2.

Safer Scotland

In contrast, motorists in Scotland can breathe easy, with five of the ten safest towns found north of the border.

According to the data compiled by MoneySuperMarket, no car thefts were reported in Lerwick, Shetland Islands over the five years. Other island communities also fared well, with no thefts reported on Jersey or Guernsey either.

Lerwick, in the Shetland Islands, saw no reported car thefts, according to the data

Car thief using a work tool to break into car, many jagged little pieces in the air. © Getty Car thief using a work tool to break into car, many jagged little pieces in the air.

Kirkwall, in the Orkneys, saw just 0.3 thefts per 1,000 of population, with Dumfries fifth on the list with 0.6 thefts per 1,000.

Perhaps surprisingly, London doesn’t even appear in the ten worst hotspots, with a theft per 1,000 capita rate of 6.1.

Prevention better than cure

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, comments: “Making sure your vehicle is protected with the right insurance is key to minimising the financial impact a theft can have - but prevention is always better than cure. No matter where you are in the UK, it’s important to defend your property against planned and opportunistic theft, whether of the vehicle itself or belongings left inside.

Thief stealing bag from the car © Getty Thief stealing bag from the car Lerwick (0 - none stated) Jersey (0) Guernsey (0) Kirkwall (0.3) Dumfries (0.6) Inverness (0.7) Perth (0.7) Isle of Man (0.7) Truro (0.8) Exeter (0.9)

“There are simple steps drivers can take to enhance security and thwart criminals. And if you can avoid having to make a claim on your insurance, you will protect your no claims discount and dodge a nasty hike in your premiums.”

Among Kevin’s tips for stopping car thieves are:

Fit an approved alarm and consider old-school devices such as a steering lock, especially if you have keyless entry Don’t leave valuables in sight to deter opportunistic thieves Avoid leaving keys near the front door - the easiest way to steal a car is by getting hold of the key, so make sure they’re not easily accessible If possible, park off road or in a garage Never leave your car idling on the drive while the air conditioning cools the interior, or to warm up in winter - it’s an open invitation to a thief Use a tracking device to increase the chance of recovery

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