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Car manufacturers are being urged to sort out failures in the security of their vehicles in a bid to crack down on thefts.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster is calling on car makers to follow the lead of Jaguar Land Rover, which has retro-fitted a variety of models made between 2018 and 2022 with security fixes following an increase in thefts and insurance premiums rising for many drivers.

He said it was vital that manufacturers took their share of responsibility for a rise in car thefts, while also encouraging drivers to use items like steering wheel locks and Faraday pouches, to make it more difficult for thieves.

Range Rovers were revealed among the most-stolen cars in the UK last year, due to their high re-sale value and keyless technology that criminals exploit – a figure reflected in the West Midlands.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “Criminals are increasingly finding new ways of getting around car security features and it’s deeply concerning. 

“That is why I am calling on manufacturers to do all they can in the fight against car thefts. Retro-fitting new security measures will go some way to reducing this crime.

“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.”

Earlier this year, the PCC published data showing 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%.

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.

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

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