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The Police and Crime Commissioner can reveal that car thieves in the West Midlands are increasingly favouring Fords.

Simon Foster is publishing data that shows the number of Fords taken last year jumped by a third, bringing the total stolen in 2022, to more than three and a half thousand.

Land Rovers were also sought after, with a near doubling in the number taken by criminals.

Both Ford and Land Rover had 27 vehicles stolen per 1,000 registered in our region, the equivalent of 2.7%.

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, publishes the police data annually to shine a light on the issue and to ensure vehicle manufacturers go further, to improve vehicle security. Mr Foster also wants to inform motorists about which cars are less likely to be stolen, so the information can guide their decision when buying a car.  

Some thieves are known to get around the onboard car security features in a matter of seconds, allowing them to drive off with the vehicle whilst the owner sleeps at night. This can involve copying digital keys or boosting a car fob signal to trick the car into opening its doors and allowing its engine to start.

Fiats saw the second biggest percentage increase in vehicle thefts, rising by 65% from 196 to 324.

Vehicle crime has been rising rapidly over the last 8 years in the West Midlands. In 2014, there were 3,960 vehicles stolen in our region. By 2022, that number had risen to 13,634. 

Many of the cars being stolen are taken to illegal garages, otherwise known as chop-shops, where they are cut up and sold for parts on the black market. West Midlands Police has recently announced that it will expand its vehicle crime taskforce in order to clamp down the growing trend of vehicle thefts and bring perpetrators to justice.

The Abarth is still the car stolen more than any other as a proportion of each 1,000 vehicles registered in the region. More than 7% of all registered Abarths were taken illegally by criminals.

The PCC is echoing West Midlands Police’s recommendations to drivers that they should use a full steering wheel lock that covers the steering wheel, faraday pouch and ensure the car is locked when parked. 

West Midlands Police have plenty of vehicle crime prevention advice here.

“These criminals are increasingly finding new ways of getting around car security features and it’s deeply concerning.” said West Midlands PCC, Simon Foster. 

“Cars are sometimes being stolen in less than a minute, as people sleep in their beds. We need manufacturers to do much more, to ensure that car security is a top priority and fit for purpose. 

“Demand for stolen cars and stolen car parts has boomed and it is encouraging thieves to steal more and more vehicles.

“I have asked West Midlands Police to prioritise car crime and go after the organised criminals who are profiting from the thefts, but we also need manufacturers to look again at onboard car security features, to ensure they are a top priority and fit for purpose, to prevent organised car crime gangs profiting from vehicle theft.”

Mark Silvester is the Force Design Out Crime and Crime Reduction Manager at West Midlands Police, he added: “Building up layers of security is key, be that your home or car.

“The use of Thatcham approved vehicle trackers is one of those layers, but they are a retrieval device.

“Therefore use of a visual theft deterrent such as a Sold Secure Gold approved steering wheel lock is also recommended. West Midlands Police have plenty of vehicle crime prevention advice.

CAR MAKETOTAL STOLEN 2021STOLEN PER 1,000 REGISTERED             Total stolen 2022  STOLEN PER 1,000 REGISTERED           % difference between total stolen
Abarth5896.834676.8– 20.7%
Alfa Romeo4017.962913.02– 27.5%
Land Rover359415.41,04727.15+ 76.3%
Ford2,76514.883,67727.15+ 33%
Mercedes90411.311,07613.47+ 19%
BMW6398.536108.14– 4.5%
Audi4497.965038.92+ 12%
Nissan4387.553756.47– 14.4%
Honda1337.31518.29+ 13.5%
Fiat1966.8632411.33+ 65.3%
Renault2186.022115.83– 3.2%
Seat1315.871175.25– 10.7%
Volkswagen4745.395075.76+ 7%
Toyota1995.132857.35+ 43.2%
Peugeot2654.963085.77+ 16.2%
Vauxhall6084.636404.87+ 5.3%
Citroen1574.31985.43+ 26.1%
Mazda554.18846.38+ 52.7%
Kia953.691174.54+ 23.2%
Mitsubishi673.3713.5+ 6%

 Source: WMP Recorded Crime Data and number of cars registered from Department for Transport 2010-2019

  • The number of Ford cars stolen increased by nearly a third since 2021 from 14.88 stolen per 1000 registered to 27.15 in 2022. Ford continued to be the most stolen car in the West Midlands.
  • The car make which saw the biggest increase in terms of numbers stolen was Land Rover, increasing by 76.3% from 2021 (from 594 to 1,047).  In 2022, there were 27.15 Land Rovers stolen per 1000 registered, compared to 15.4 in 2021. Land Rover is also the 3rd most stolen car make in the WM.
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