The number of vehicles being stolen has drastically increased over the past few years. The West Midlands is one of the worst affected areas in England and Wales.
Since 2015 vehicle crime has almost tripled in our region and I have been instrumental in making this a national issue.
This is a serious issue and as well as ensuring that West Midlands Police get tough on the organised criminals profiting from this crime, I have been calling on the government to take action.
Since the Autumn 1,000 arrests have been made and almost 600 cars have been recovered by the force, but action at a national level is required to make a lasting difference.
Earlier this month I agreed to help the government tackle car crime by joining its new Vehicle Crime Taskforce. Other than the Metropolitan Police, West Midlands Police is the only other force to be represented and this is down to my campaigning to make this a national priority.
The Taskforce’s work includes:
◾Working to improve vehicle security standards across the industry
◾Making changes to legislation and codes of practice where necessary to ensure that criminals cannot take advantage of the motor salvage process
◾To look to see whether measures are required to restrict the sale of tools which can be used to steal vehicles through electronic compromise.
As vehicles have become smarter they have acquired all sorts of features, like keyless entry. Whilst it makes it easier for us to access our cars, sadly the same can be said for criminals.
One company who have stepped up security are Jaguar Land Rover. They were recently recognised by consumer group Which? as having taken a lead on this area.
They have done fantastic work to improve the security of their vehicles, but all manufacturers need to follow their lead and improve security on all vehicles.
That’s why I will be keeping up the pressure on manufacturers.
I will name and shame them. I will publish my second list of vehicles that have been stolen in the West Midlands. This will continue until the car companies take the matter seriously and get the number of thefts back down to the levels we last witnessed in 2015.
I won’t let up on this issue.
David Jamieson PCC