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Keyless cars link to 22 percent rise in vehicle thefts in Derbyshire

Keyless car. Photo by Pixabay.
Keyless car. Photo by Pixabay.

Car thefts in Derbyshire during the past year are likely to have been driven up by the rise in keyless motors.

Figures released by the Home Office show that 1,176 vehicles were stolen between April 2017 and March 2018, a rise of 22 percent on the previous year when thieves stole 964,

In the county that equates to 11 vehicles stolen for every 10,000 residents in the area.

Car thefts in England and Wales have risen by 15 percent over the past year and 40 percent in the last five years.

Police and motoring organisations have said this is probably due to an increase in the theft of keyless cars.

Manufacturers are demanding tighter controls on the “open sale” of equipment used by criminals to steal cars.

A spokesman from the Association of British Insurers said that criminals are exploiting the vulnerabilities of the entry system by using high-tech equipment.

He added: “The theft risk will be one of many factors taken into account by insurers when assessing the price of your motor insurance policy.

“In recent years the average cost of insurance has been rising – in 2017, the average motor premium paid rose by 9% on 2016 to a record high.”

Nationally, about 70% of vehicle-related thefts occurred at home and during the evening or at night.

The Office for National Statistics said that 43% of perpetrators entered the vehicle through an unlocked door.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders, said: “Manufacturers are investing billions in ever more sophisticated security features and software updates on an ongoing basis.

“However, we continue to call for action to stop the open sale of equipment which helps criminals steal cars – equipment which has no legal purpose – and have written to the Home Secretary seeking a meeting to agree how this can be addressed.”

In Derbyshire there were 86 cases of aggravated robbery - for driving the stolen vehicle dangerously on the road or causing an accident.

Police recorded 3,786 incidents related to thefts from vehicles, either of personal belongings, radios or other items. That is a decrease of 3.2% from the previous year.

There were 1,164 crimes where the vehicle was damaged as part of an attempted theft, where the intent of the offender was not obvious.