Vehicle theft down by third during lockdown

Thefts dropped from just under 440,000 in 2019 to 304,870 the following year.

Vehicle theft fell by 31% in 2020, according to new analysis. used the latest data gathered by the Economic Policy Centre and found thefts dropped from just under 440,000 in 2019 to 304,870 the following year.

The Metropolitan Police Service, covering 32 boroughs in the capital, continued to top the highest number of reported vehicle thefts with 108,340 in 2020 and the highest crime rate at 15.1 reported thefts/1,000 residents.

The City of London Police, responsible for a primarily financial business district, recorded the lowest number of incidents – 165 – and also the lowest crime rate – 0.53 / 1,000 residents.

Year-on-year crime rates (April 2019 to April 2020) were down in all areas, except Bedfordshire, which reflected the effect of the first lockdown. Drops of 40% or more in reported vehicle thefts were recorded by half of the police forces supplying data

The figures compiled by UK CrimeStats – a leading crime data research and analysis platform – covers reported crimes from 43 police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Vehicle theft refers to taking items from a vehicle or stealing the vehicle itself.

Greg Wilson, founder of, said: “It’s perhaps not surprising that the rate of vehicle crime has fallen given lockdown measures and the reduced number of cars parked on the road. However, the scale of the fall is still dramatic and it’s a welcome development.

“England, Wales and Northern Ireland are diverse regions, so there will be many areas that remain crime hotspots, particularly in big cities. It’s worth taking extra precautions, such as keeping cars in locked garages or on driveways overnight, in order to reduce risk and possibly lower insurance premiums in both rural and urban areas.

“For those people who still find themselves victims of car crime, it is important to know what to do when you arrive at the scene.  Make sure to call the police and your insurers as quickly as possible, don’t touch anything at the scene and take photos if you can – many households now have CCTV which can be incredibly useful if your car is stolen from home.”

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