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The increasingly lawless UK: Less than 5% of car thefts lead to a suspect being charged

By Tom Gibson | May 16, 2022


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Stats reveal that 1 in 20 thefts lead to a prosecution. Make that 1 in 40 for London!

The increasingly lawless UK: Less than 5% of car thefts lead to a suspect being charged

Law and order are fundamental principles of any democracy but in the increasingly lawless UK, motorists are paying the penalty for decades of mismanagement and failure in the policing 

and justice systems that mean under 5% of car thefts ever result in a charge being brought.

We reported earlier this year on a thief who had his carstolen twice by the same criminal within a matter of weeks. And, having seen these stats, the brazenness of that individual can hardly be seen as a surprise.

It seems as though a lack of resources has pushed car theft down the priority ladder meaning unless hard evidence is readily presented to police, often by the victim, it’s unlikely they will go looking for it.

This opinion can be backed up by regional statistics that present harrowing pictures for forces across England and Wales.

Overall, just 4.9% of the 100,000 vehicles stolen last year led to a suspect being charged, with that figure dropping to 2.5% in London.

Last year an average of 272 cars were stolen every day, that’s one every five minutes, as criminal gangs often steal luxury cars to order before shipping them almost straight out to Europe and preventing any chance of capture – unless drivers have a tracking device installed.

Elsewhere across England and Wales, West Midlands Police were able to prosecute in just 2.4 per cent of thefts, whereas Dyfed-Powys Police solved almost 19 per cent of cases, while officers in Cumbria charged suspects over 18 per cent of car thefts.

Five years ago, the overall detection rate for car thefts was just over 10 per cent – so it’s halved.

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