Cleveland and County Durham police dealt with more than 6,000 vehicle crimes last year, new figures show.
Website Click4Reg.co.uk used figures from national database data.police.uk to calculate the total number of vehicle crimes recorded by 43 police forces/constabularies across the UK in 2016.
We’d reiterate that people need to be vigilant around locking their vehicles and making sure that all valuables are kept out of sight.Cleveland Police spokesperson
Police class vehicle crime as ‘theft from or of a vehicle or interference with a vehicle.’
The research show Cleveland dealt with 3,696 reports of such offences in 2016, while Durham handled 2,689 - a total of 6,385.
The Metropolitan Police in London had the highest number of vehicle crimes recorded in 2016, with 89,900 offences, followed by West Midlands Police, who reported 29,106 vehicle crimes, and Greater Manchester, with 24,298 vehicle offences recorded in 2016.
On the other end of the scale, City of London Police had the lowest number of vehicle crimes reported at 177. Just above City of London Police was Dyfed-Powys Police who recorded 1,103 cases of vehicle crime in 2016.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show 71% of all vehicle-theft occurs during the week and night is the most prominent time, with 43% occurring during this period.
A Cleveland police spokesperson emphasised the importance of taking basic precautions: “We see a lot of thefts of sat navs, wallets, laptops, cash etc which have often been left on display in vehicles.
“Often doors are left unlocked, so it is easy for an opportunist thief to gain access.
“We’d reiterate that people need to be vigilant around locking their vehicles and making sure that all valuables are kept out of sight.”
A spokesperson for Durham Constabulary said there were simple common sense actions people could take to reduce the risk they would be victims of such opportunistic offending: “Most vehicle crime is preventable.
“The theft which we have seen across County Durham and Darlington has involved insecure vehicles, where doors are unlocked or windows left partially down which makes it easy for any criminal to get inside a motor and steal property. The type of property which has been taken include handbags containing credit cards and cash, laptops, satnavs, dash cams, mobile phones and sunglasses.
“The message we would give is please ensure that your vehicle is locked and secured before you leave and don’t have property on display which attracts criminals. Minimise your risk of becoming a victim of this crime.”