January joins March, April, May and October as the top five worst months for vehicle crime but the opening month tops the list as the most prolific period. A total of 11 percent of all vehicle crimes recorded in 2019 took place in January, according to UK police data analysed by Click4Reg.
The Metropolitan Police, West Midlands Police, West Yorkshire Police, Greater Manchester Police and Thames Valley Police were found to be the most prolific areas for vehicle crime incidents in the UK.
However, despite the high crime rate, a total of 58 percent of suspects involved in incidents go unidentified by police forces.
A total of 93 percent of vehicle crime offenders go unidentified across the West Midlands Police region.
It means out of the 27,265 vehicle crimes in the region, over 25,000 of these result in no suspect being identified in a major concern for locals.
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Cars can be broken into in just minutes
These are the most popular areas for car crime
This figure drops to 89 percent or Cambridgeshire and 88 percent for the Merseyside Police force.
Shocking figures also show just 0.2 percent of cases end with an offender receiving either a community sentence, a caution or a jail sentence.
A breakdown of the data reveals action against 247 offenders was deemed not to be in the public interest as 51 offenders were deemed to have been already been dealt with through other means.
The safest area was highlighted as Dyfed-Powys who recorded just 836 vehicle crimes throughout the whole of 2019.
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Cumbria Constabulary reported fewer than 1,000 incidents last year as areas of North Wales and Norfolk were also found to be relatively safe.
Car crimes may increase during this period because of a winter phenomenon known as frosting.
This is when criminals steal or break into vehicles which owners have left unlocked and running while attempting to de-ice their car.
Vehicles can be stolen within seconds as criminals can simply walk into a car and drive off as the key will already be in the ignition.
However, car insurance companies will refuse to pay out for claims if you have left your car running unattended.
Many insurance providers will have this as a clause in their contract and will view leaving a car unattended as an at-fault claim.
Keyless car thefts could also be to blame for the wave of incidents as criminals use sophisticated technology to gain access to a car in minutes.
Radio signal technology can unlock cars in just seconds and does not raise as much awareness as traditional methods of vehicle break-ins.
A recent study from Tracker found 88 percent of vehicles stolen were taken without the owner’s original car keys.
How to keep your car safe
According to Police UK, motorists should keep their car keys away from doors and windows and hidden from the immediate attention of criminals.
They urge motorists to etch their windows with the heckle registration number of last seven digits of a vehicle identification number (VIN).
A registration number and VIN can put criminals off stealing a car in the first place as this will make your car harder to sell.
Criminals may not get away with putting on false number plates and changing a car’s identity if you have branded the vehicle.
According to Police UK, marking your car will also make it easier for police to get your vehicle back to you if the car is stolen by thieves.