The Police and Crime Commissioner can reveal there were nearly three times as many cars and light goods vehicles stolen in the West Midlands in the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2015.

Ford’s were the most popular amongst thieves. The company saw a five-fold increase in the number  of its vehicles stolen with numbers rising from 184 to 1,070.

The data also reveals that Audi had the most vehicles stolen as a proportion of the number registered in the area. The German manufacturer is closely followed by fellow compatriot BMW.

The PCC, David Jamieson, has taken the decision to publish the statistics for the first time in response to the rise in vehicle thefts over the last few years. The statistics will continue to be published every 6 months.

Experts believe keyless technology is partly to blame for the increase in car thefts.

The PCC has been leading a national campaign calling on motor manufacturers to close security loopholes. Mr Jamieson said he wants motorists to be able to make informed decisions when purchasing a car.

Keyless cars are increasingly being targeted by organised gangs who are taking advantage of weaknesses in vehicle security systems. Once stolen, cars are often shipped abroad or cut up and sold for parts in so called ‘chop shops’.

In April David Jamieson met with BMW, Honda, Ford, Nissan, Audi and Jaguar Land Rover to demand they do more to protect cars from thieves. Other manufacturers were invited, but didn’t attend the summit.

The Commissioner has ensured West Midlands Police have made clamping down on vehicle thefts a top priority

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: “I have been saying for a long time now that manufacturers have taken their eye off the ball when it comes to vehicle security.

“As keyless technology has grown in popularity more and more cars have vanished from driveways as their owners sleep. Some vehicles are being stolen by criminals in less than a minute.

“Now it is time for consumers to see for themselves how secure the cars they are buying really are. That is why I have chosen to name and shame car manufactures in this way and I will continue to do so until they improve security and help reduce thefts.

“Whilst I’m determined to stand up to the big multinational companies who make our cars I won’t shy away from putting pressure on West Midlands Police either. It has a big part to play in clamping down on these thefts. I am ensuring it is closing down the ‘chop shops’ and catching serial criminals who commit a high proportion of the vehicle thefts. It is one of the force’s top priorities”.

One of the most effective deterrents for thieves is a steering wheel lock.

You can buy a steering wheel lock from a number of places, but West Midlands Police have partnered with Disklok, who are offering a 15% discount on their products exclusively to drivers in the force area.

The discount is available to people who sign up to WMNow West Midlands Police crime and community safety alert system, for more details please sign up to WMNow.

Tomv1

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