The Metropolitan Police recorded the highest number of vehicle crimes in the UK 2016, according to new research.
Figures revealed the capital's police force recorded 89,900 vehicle crimes, classified as “theft from or of a vehicle or interference with a vehicle”.
Yet the data revealed the City of London Police had the lowest number of vehicle crimes across 43 police forces/constabularies in the UK, with 177 cases.
Overall, 2016 saw more than 350,000 recorded cases of vehicle crimes in the UK, with the West Midlands Police recording the second highest number at 29,106.
In third place was Greater Manchester Police, with 24,298 vehicle crimes recorded in 2016.
On the other end of the scale, just above City of London Police, was Dyfed-Powys Police, which recorded 1,103 cases of vehicle crime in 2016.
Just less than half - 43% - of all vehicle-related theft occurs because drivers do not adequately lock their doors, according to research complied by Click4Reg.co.uk.
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), 71% of all vehicle theft occurs during the week and night is a popular time for thieves to operate, with 43% occurring during this period.
Ben Leonard, managing director of Click4Reg.co.uk, said: “The figures are certainly fascinating.
"Vehicle crime is certainly more prevalent than anyone would expect.
"Whilst unfortunate, there are various effective actions that drivers can take to safeguard their vehicle from any potential crime.
"All drivers should aim to make simple steps such as locking doors and removing all valuable possessions when not in their vehicle a habit.
"Making such behaviours a daily routine, will go a long way in protecting driver’s vehicles from opportunist criminals and thieves.
"Overall, more awareness and precaution from drivers can go a significantly long way in reducing the numbers of vehicle crime across the UK”.
Click4Reg has issued top tips to reduce the risk of being a victim of vehicle crime.
Doors and Windows - Make every effort to close all windows and fully lock the vehicle when leaving it at your own property, at work or elsewhere.
Valuable Possessions - Remove all valuable possessions out of plain sight when not in the vehicle - especially money, wallets, purses and electronic items (including radio).
Parking - Always aim to park your vehicle in a well-lit area, as sufficient lighting will more than likely deter criminals and thieves from targeting your vehicle.
Planning - If you’re making journeys to unfamiliar locations and sites, plan ahead to avoid driving through, and parking in any high crime areas.
Extra Protection – A car alarm or steering wheel lock can go a long way in adding extra security for your vehicle.
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