Car crime could rise as economy bites

* Link between slow economy and car crime * Peak of 4.5m incidents in 1995 * Car makers have helped reduce numbers...

19 June 2008

Car crime could rise as economy bites

Motorists might need to brace themselves for increases in car crime, according to one leading insurer.

The difficult economic climate could lead to increases in vehicle crime (theft of cars and theft from cars), just like those that followed the UK's recession in the early 1990s, said Dane Loosley of Allianz Cornhill at the British Insurance Car Security Awards today.

'We all know about the economic slow-down and reaction to it,' said Loosley. 'I'm not trying to paint a dismal picture, but we are going to have some changes.'

Car crime hit a huge peak in 1995, with nearly 4.5 million incidents compared with less than 1.7 million in 2006/2007.

This 62% drop in numbers is often hailed as evidence of huge success in combating car crime, but compared with figures from 1981, when data was first collected in the British Crime Survey, 2006/2007 figures are only 3.5% down.

However, considering the number of cars on UK roads has nearly doubled over the same period - from 15 million to 28 million - the work done by manufacturers to improve car security may have held back a huge tide of crime.