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Sharp rise in vehicle thefts in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 08:51 27 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:35 27 September 2017

Police. Picture: Archant library.

Police. Picture: Archant library.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Vehicle thefts in Norfolk have increased by more than 50pc in just three years, new figures show.

Thefts in the county are up 56pc from 2013 to 2016, the fourth biggest increase in the country. There were 323 thefts in 2013 and 505 in 2016.

But in Suffolk thefts were down from 635 to 443, a 30pc drop.

Figures from 40 forces across the country revealed 85,688 vehicles were stolen last year, up 30pc from 65,783 in 2013.

The RAC, which obtained the data through Freedom of Information requests to police forces, believes thieves are bypassing modern vehicle security systems.

RAC insurance director Mark Godfrey said this rise reverses a general trend of vehicle thefts decreasing since around 2002.

“We fear thieves are now becoming more and more well equipped with technology capable of defeating car manufacturers’ anti-theft systems,” he said.

“This is bad news for motorists as it has the effect of causing insurance premiums to rise at a time when they are already being pushed up by a variety of factors, not least the recent change to the discount rate for life-changing personal injury compensation claims and the rises in insurance premium tax.”

Mr Godfrey said a number of motorists are resorting to using anti-theft devices which were popular in the 1980s and early 1990s such as steering wheel locks.

“They are still a very effective visible deterrent,” he added.

Police in Warwickshire reported the largest percentage increase in stolen vehicles from 2013 to 2016, up 189pc. This was followed by Hampshire 59pc and West Yorkshire 57pc.

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