• Number of vehicles stolen in 2014 down 70% compared to 10 years previously.
  • Vehicle theft at lowest point since 1968, as industry invests billions in security technology.
  • Industry urges authorities to collect more detailed theft data to help fight against crime.

The number of vehicles stolen in the UK has fallen by 70% in the past decade, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Latest figures show 69,547 vehicles were stolen in the UK last year, compared to 231,323 in 2004. Vehicle theft fell by 1.2%, or 842 incidents, compared with 2013 and the crime is now at its lowest point since 1968. With more than 36 million vehicles on the road, the figures show that just 0.2% of the UK’s vehicles were stolen in 2014.

The continued reduction in vehicle theft follows a tireless effort by manufacturers to help make vehicles ever more secure. The industry invests billions of pounds each year to ensure it remains at the cutting edge of technology and stays ahead of criminals. The introduction of advanced security systems as standard equipment is also helping to make vehicles harder to steal.

To reduce theft rates further, the automotive industry is urging authorities to collect more detailed data about how vehicles are being stolen. There is currently little nationwide understanding of trends in types of vehicle theft because only a small number of police forces collect and analyse this data. This can lead to skewed public perceptions about the regularity of certain types of vehicle theft across the country.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Thanks to significant investments by car manufacturers in the latest security systems, vehicle thefts across the UK are at the lowest levels for decades. We are, however, calling for better tracking of how different vehicles are stolen so that we have an accurate understanding of how criminals are operating and can develop future technology to eradicate vehicle crime.”