Covid pushes vehicle theft to 10-year low

Vehicle theft dropped to a 10-year low during the height of spring’s lockdown according to new figures from UK CrimeStats, using the latest data gathered by the Economic Policy Centre.

The year began with reported vehicle thefts hitting 38,800 in January, but this nearly halved to 21,560 thefts in April and 21,550 in May.

While June (23,260) and July (25,890) recorded a slight rise in vehicle theft, the figures remain firmly below last year’s monthly average of 33,370. The data, which goes back to December 2010, has not recorded a lower monthly number of vehicle thefts than July 2020.

The lowest number of vehicle thefts, from August 2019 to July 2020, were recorded by the City of London Police, followed by Northern Ireland, Dyfed-Powys and Cumbria forces. London’s Metropolitan Police Service, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire forces had the highest rates for the same period

The research presented by UK CrimeStats – a leading crime data research and analysis platform – covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland and gathers data based on reported crimes of over 40 police forces. Vehicle theft refers to taking items from a vehicle or stealing the vehicle

Responding to the new data, Greg Wilson, founder of, comments: “It’s not surprising that the rate of vehicle crime fell in April and May, given lockdown measures and the reduced number of cars on the road. However, the scale of the fall in vehicle theft was incredibly dramatic, perhaps suggesting that some of that community spirit we witnessed with the ‘clap for carers’ initiative has helped foster a sense of community-mindedness more broadly. Whatever the cause let’s hope this particular change is here to stay.  

“For those people who still find themselves victims of car crime, it is important to know what to do when you arrive at the scene.  Make sure to call the police and your insurers as quickly as possible, don’t touch anything at the scene and take photos if you can – many households now have CCTV which can be incredibly useful if your car is stolen from home

“With lockdown measures still in place your car may be spending more time at home than ever before so make sure callers to your house have ID – legitimate callers won’t mind you double checking. Keep valuables out of sight and if you have an outside light it’s helpful if it’s on motion sensor.” compares over 110 UK car insurance providers to help customers get a competitive price and a policy that suits them best.

The Exeter Daily