Car manufacturers have taken their eye off the ball when it comes to vehicle security.
The cost and expense of the vehicles being so easily stolen is falling on every single one of us who are paying car insurance.
Cars up and down the country are becoming increasingly vulnerable to theft and I’ve been growing more and more concerned about the situation.
My campaign to tackle vehicle thefts has now moved up a gear, following an incident where a West Midlands Police officer received serious life changing injuries, after pursuing a stolen keyless vehicle.
Last week, I published the latest statistics which names and shames manufacturers whose vehicles are most at risk of being stolen.
So far in 2019, 5,527 vehicles have been stolen. That’s over double the entire amount stolen in 2015.
Statistics show that Ford is the most vulnerable car amongst thieves. The number of those stolen has risen from 489 in 2015 to 1,557 so far in 2019.
Now, on behalf of motorists right across the West Midlands, I am cranking up the pressure on manufacturers.
I am angry at the ease at which criminals are stealing cars across the West Midlands and I am especially concerned about the vulnerability of keyless vehicles.
West Midlands Police know I expect it to keep up the pressure on vehicle thefts. In recent months the force has netted over 1,000 suspects and recovered hundreds of vehicles.
But police action alone won’t stop this problem, that’s why the manufacturers have to tighten their security too.
I have pledged to publish car theft data every six months so drivers across region can make informed decisions about which vehicles to buy.
This will continue until the car companies take the matter seriously and get the number of thefts back down to the levels we witnessed in 2015.
I have also penned an open letter to the voice of the UK motor industry, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, calling on them to help us tackle the rise in vehicle theft.
West Midlands Police recognise that whilst keyless technology has made life more convenient for motorists, it has also made stealing vehicles more convenient for criminals.
As keyless technology has grown in popularity, more and more cars have vanished from driveways as their owners sleep. Some vehicles are being stolen by criminals in less than a minute.
Keyless cars are increasingly being targeted by organised gangs who are taking advantage of weaknesses in vehicle security systems. Once stolen the vehicles are often shipped abroad or cut up and sold for parts in illegal garages.
These criminals are not only taking what doesn’t belong to them, but putting lives at risk.
Last year, I started a national campaign to get car makers and the Government to demand they do more to prevent cars from being taken by crooks.
I urge car manufacturers to take the necessary steps to combat theft and protect West Midlands motorists.
The ‘Name and Shame’ list can be found here: https://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/pcc-names-cars-most-likely-to-be-stolen-in-the-west-midlands/