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Monday, 1 February 2010


Car crime is rising and it's having an impact on car insurance premiums. It is one of the main factors that are contributing to the fastest rise in car insurance premiums for 15 years.
Theft of cars is of particular concern to insurers as thieves are targeting expensive and the more popular marques. Once they are stolen, they are often never found – they may be taken abroad, cloned or dismantled for parts that can fetch large sums of money overseas.

Yet car owners often leave themselves open to thieves who may be waiting for an unguarded moment to steal them, or opportunist thieves who just see a chance and grasp it.

Why you shouldn’t believe the Home Office “declining car crime” hype

Car crime represents a large percentage of overall crime. In 2008/9 the total number of offences reported to the police was 4,703,814. Car crime represented a massive 13% of that total at 592,117 incidents, that is a rate of more than 1 per minute.

The average age of vehicles on the road is increasing as their values decrease. Victims with lower value cars are increasingly less likely to report a theft, lacking confidence that anything can be done, combined with the increased insurance cost when weighed against the value of the car.

Cars are being cloned at an alarming rate. Some 30,000 sets of number plates were reported stolen last year with the most common result being that a similar make and model of vehicle is then stolen and driven around with little prospect of being easily identified by the police.

300,000 V5 (registration documents) were stolen from the DVLA last year, which has resulted in many of the vehicles to which they apply being cloned.

The police routinely suppress car crime statistics as they form part of a larger group of offences that can have a major “apparent” downward effect on crime rates. Car theft will often not be crimed initially, merely reported as an incident. There is a huge difference. A crime sits on the books as part of the larger crime picture, whereas an incident does not. The incident is frequently left as such, not upgraded to a crime until the victim makes a written statement.

Car crimes are often redefined and allocated to other categories, such as “theft other”, which covers a multitude of sins, and in doing so conveys the impression of falling car crime rates. When a thief breaks into your house to steal your car keys, this is reported as burglary, not car theft. If the vehicle is taken from you by force on the street, it is reported as robbery or theft other, not car theft, as will be seen later in this article. There were over 18,000 such instances last year alone, that is 14% of car thefts with this new modus operandi, and this is a growing phenomenon.

Insurance companies are witnessing a massive upsurge in car crime claims. This is perhaps a better indicator, as it is not always a requirement to report the incident to the police.

The weakest link

Keys are the weakest link in the car theft chain and modern cars can't easily be taken without them. Thieves are getting more determined and violent in their tactics too.

Every day, 50 cars are stolen by burglary of homes or robbery of people to get keys and then steal the car. Insurers have witnessed a 15% increase this year in claims for cars stolen in exactly this way.

Common tactics include:
  • Fishing for keys through the letterbox - so never leave keys on a hall table or a convenient rack by the door
  • Breaking in to a house at night or when it is obviously empty - they might steal your spare keys and wait until returning home before taking the car
  • Pick-pocketing or stealing handbags to get keys
  • Breaking into places where you might have left your keys such as gym lockers or cloakrooms
  • Taking keys from desks, jacket pockets or drawers in workplaces
  • Violently pulling drivers out of their car when parking
 Taking chances


Unfortunately, many drivers still leave keys in their cars even for a moment, for example, popping back into the house, because you have forgotten something; at petrol stations or while feeding a pay and display machine or parking meter.


Always take the keys out, lock the car and put the keys deep in your pocket especially in a busy public place like a car park.


This winter, thieves will once again be looking for drivers who have left their car running on frosty mornings, to warm up. Every year hundreds of cars disappear in this way.


Every car insurance policy has a clause that negates any claim for theft of a car where the keys were left in the ignition and you won't get a sympathetic hearing if your has disappeared in this way.


But it's not just cars that disappear. If you leave your car with anything on display, such as a laptop, gifts or packages of any sort, sat-nav or even shoes or other clothing, you are asking for a brick to be pushed through a window and your property stolen.


Many insurers are cutting back on the limits of personal property taken in this way and unless you have an extension on your home insurance to cover property away from your home, you will have only yourself to blame.


Quick tips 

  • Never, ever leave keys in the car.
  • Park in well lit car parks that ideally, have reasonable security such as CCTV.
  • Fit your car with a Tracker – that will help recover the car if it is stolen.
  • Consider using a simple visual locking equipment, such as a 'crook-lock' device.
  • Lock your car in a garage at night if possible; or shut your gates if you leave it on the drive.
  • Never leave property on display in the car. Lock it in the boot or better still, don't leave anything in the car at all.
  • Collect all your purchases at the end of the day. (Most retailers will allow this.) Don't make repeated trips to your car filling it up with items just waiting to be taken. Reverse into parking spaces - It makes it more difficult for thieves to open the boot or tailgate. 
Courtesy Cars In The UK - Fact vs Myth

  • A vehicle related theft occurs every 21 seconds in the UK 
  • Over half of those taken without consent are never restored to their owner.

How would you cope if your vehicle was stolen tonight?


We sincerely hope that it never happens to you, but the fact is that no matter how much is thrown at vehicle protection, the determined vehicle thief continues to ply his trade. In the time it takes to read this article, three more vehicles will be stolen or taken without the owners consent.


MYTH: Every customer who has their vehicle stolen in the UK will be provided a replacement vehicle by their car insurance company.


FACT: It is remarkable that only a small number of insurance companies offer any kind of solution, leaving the vast majority of the 30 million UK motorists exposed.


MYTH: But surely I will get a courtesy vehicle?


FACT: No courtesy vehicle will be provided whilst your car remains un-recovered (typically 10-14 days, if at all) and NOT when your vehicle is written off.


We are delighted to introduce you to Theft Protect , not previously available in the UK, protecting you in the unhappy event of your vehicle being stolen. For a small annual fee, you can now obtain a like-for-like replacement vehicle facility for up to 28 days allowing you to get mobile again with the minimum of fuss.


For more information click  http://www.theftprotect.co.uk/intro.html


Or visit the Theft Protect Website  http://www.theftprotect.co.uk/


How Much Does Theft Protect Cost?


Prices start from as little as £25 plus IPT (insurance premium tax - 5%) depending on the group of replacement vehicle and the hire period required. The agent that contacts you will tell you the price.


How Do I Get Theft Protect Cover?


Theft Protect is available from through our national network of FSA authorised insurance brokers, finance companies or motor dealers.


E mail us from these pages enquiries@theftprotect.co.uk  or via the website http://www.theftprotect.co.uk/

for details of how you can obtain cover now. Theft Protect will contact you with details of your nearest authorised agent.

Alternatively, click the "Contact Me" button below. Complete the form that opens and click send e mail. We will e mail you details & you can be on cover within a few minutes.

(Theft Protect is only available to UK residents)


Questions about Theft Protect? Again, click the "Contact Me" button below and complete the enquiry form that opens. We will respond to your query as quickly as possible.


With Theft Protect you’re covered.
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Your vehicle is one of your most valuable assets. This site provides free resources and information so that you may ensure it is protected against the unwanted attention of the criminal fraternity.

Through this site, Nice 1, the creators of
Theft Protect, highlight the facts and dispel the myths about courtesy cars and vehicle crime in the UK. Our professional team comprises industry experts drawing on years of experience in criminal investigation within the police service, combined with many years of accumulated experience in the fields of vehicle sales, rental and motor insurance.

A lot of hype surrounds crime statistics published by the authorities and industry sectors. Home Office statistics published annually relate to historic crime NOT the current situation.

Insurance companies frequently publish crime statistics, however their data relates specifically to THEIR customers only, and is not a true representation.

Nice 1 collate up-to-date national crime statistics and news on a regular basis, so as to keep YOU, the consumer informed of what is happening NOW. We do this by liaising with the UK police forces, the Home Office and other sources of reliable statistical information.

Please visit our
Theft Protect consumer site by clicking here.

Explore the posts and feel free to view our "At-A-Glance" analysis reports, to gain a valuable insight into the true picture of car crime in your area, so that you can make informed decisions about buying a new vehicle, renewing or replacing your existing motor insurance and ensuring your vehicle is protected.

To see the latest news updates, alerts and information requests from your local police force, click the link for your area from the Police Newslink section on the lower right side of this page.

We welcome your comments about crime in the UK, motor insurance, buying a new vehicle or vehicle security.

Whether on behalf of yourself or in support of the business you represent, our analysts welcome enquiries about the information and reports we collate behind the scenes.

To contact the Nice 1 team, click the "Contact Me" button
, or see the contact details at the foot of the page.

We look forward to helping you!

The Crime Analysis Team
Nice 1 Limited

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