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Car thefts on the rise in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 05:00 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 06:27 20 August 2018

Car thefts have gone up by 14%, according to Home Office figures Picture: MARIDAV/ISTOCKPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

Car thefts have gone up by 14%, according to Home Office figures Picture: MARIDAV/ISTOCKPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

Archant

Car thefts in Suffolk increased by 14% last year, according to latest police figures.

Between April 2017 and March 2018, 654 vehicles were stolen, data from the Home Office reveals an increase on the 575 thefts recorded on the previous year, a figure likely propelled by an increase in keyless cars.

That means, in Suffolk, nine vehicles were stolen for every 10,000 residents in the area, the trend has led vehicle manufacturers to demand tighter controls on the “open sale” of equipment used by criminals to steal cars.

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.”

Car thefts have increased by over 40% in the last five years which Police and motoring campaigners have said is probably due to a rise in keyless car thefts.

A spokesman from the Association of British Insurers said that criminals are exploiting vulnerabilities of the keyless car entry system by using pairs of radio transmitters to capture the signal from the vehicle’s fob, among other methods.

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

In Suffolk there were 82 cases of aggravated robbery for driving stolen vehicles dangerously or causing an accident and 2,760 incidents related to thefts from vehicles including radios or personal items.

An increase of 22.1% from the previous year.

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