Shocking new statistics have been released that show that police across England and Wales are only investigating less than one in four car thefts. According to the RAC, what is equally as concerning, is that the total number of car thefts rose by a third when compared to the previous year.
According to the data, police attended just 10,963 of 47,228 car thefts last year – just 23%.
The worrying numbers continue as this number has decreased from 2021, when 24.72% of the crimes were investigated by the police.
These car theft figures were originally gained by the Liberal Democrats through a Freedom of Information request (FOI).
Avon and Somerset Police were found to have the worst record in England, as officers attended just 473 of 4,467 car thefts – a total of 11%. The second and third worst police forces were Cambridgeshire Police (12%) and Bedfordshire (13%). They were followed by Essex (14%).
In terms of the total number of car thefts recorded, the West Midlands was far ahead of its nearest police force – with 15,899 recorded crimes. Of these thefts, only 17% were attended by police.
Following the release of the data, MPs called the figures a ‘national scandal’.
Despite the negative statistics that have exposed police forces across England and Wales, there were some better-performing areas of the country. These include Cumbria, which visited the scene of 263 of 344 car thefts – a total of 76%.
In Durham, 609 of 967 of the crimes were attended by police – representing 63%.
The FOI request was sent to 43 police forces in England and Wales. However, they only received 22 responses
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: “This is a national scandal. People pay their fair share in taxes to fund the police and, at the very least, expect an officer to arrive on the scene of a crime. Ministers should apologise for these shocking figures and commit to a return to proper community policing.”
The Home Office stated: “Car theft is a truly distressing crime, and we are closely working with the automotive industry and police to ensure our response is as strong as it can be. Recent figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales show vehicle crime is down 18% since December 2019. We expect police to take vehicle crime seriously and investigate thoroughly.”