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Winning the fight against car crime

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Statistics from the police and the insurance industry has shown a big reduction in car theft over the past 20 years. 107,000 vehicles were stolen last year, compared to the 119,000 stolen in 2009, and the 143,000 in 2008. The annual figure of car thefts 20 years ago was around 600,000. The majority of the cars stolen last year were over three years old.

According to Thatcham, the reduction in thefts is due to the incredible improvements to a range of security systems including alarms, locks, immobilisers, toughened glass and tracking devices.

An expert transport correspondent believes that unless criminals can actually get their hands on the keys, new cars are all but impossible to steal. The motor industry believes that 80% of thieves use the vehicle keys, with around a fifth carrying out home burglaries to obtain them.

One of the security devices of modern cars is that the keys are coded; meaning stealing a car without the keys would prove to be very difficult. High end cars have been known to be stolen by being loaded onto a trailer; however modern versions now come with trackers so that the vehicle is easy to find.

Safe and Secure The statistics emerged during the announcement of the 2011 British Insurance Vehicle Security Awards.

The overall manufacturer award went to Volkswagen UK, with Audi UK second and Volvo UK third. The winner of the top van manufacturer was Vauxhall UK.

Among the best security individual model winners were the Audi A1 (best city car/supermini), the Volvo C30 (small family car) and the Citroen C5 Exclusive (family car).

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders believe the continued decrease in the number of vehicle thefts demonstrates the progress that car and van manufacturers have made in vehicle security, striving to stay one step ahead of criminals.

The British Insurance Vehicle Security Awards were established in 2004, to recognise those manufacturers producing the most theft-proof vehicles on the market and to raise consumer awareness of what is best in vehicle security.

By Ben Malkin © Copyright Autonet Insurance