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Jaguar Land Rover pledges £1 million for UK police to battle car thefts

The British automotive giant has donated even more cash to help police forces tackle the UK’s rise in car theft crime

Range Rover Sport - front

Forget the Conservative and Labour parties’ plans to recruit more police officers; Jaguar Land Rover has committed to invest “more than £1 million” into the UK’s police force in order to tackle organised crime.

JLR has come under scrutiny in recent months and years as Land Rover and Range Rover products have been deemed ‘uninsurable’ by some insurance companies. This was due to a rise in keyless car thefts of the firm’s products and despite JLR recalling several models in order to remedy security issues, even JLR’s own insurance scheme won’t cover some customers’ cars.

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We reported in February that JLR had already pledged "several hundreds of thousands of pounds" to help police get a grip on the criminal gangs that are succeeding in stealing both Land Rovers and models from other brands, then shipping them out of the country.

While the original wad of cash was intended to facilitate extra policing at ports such in the likes of Felixstowe, Southampton and Tilbury, the increased lump sum will not only support local police forces across the country, but will also enable the formation of a new national intelligence gathering unit, specialising in car theft gangs.

JLR says its plan is working, with over 650 officers having received additional training and pilot schemes already reporting arrests and recoveries of stolen vehicles. The firm says this, along with the aforementioned security updates, is why the number of Range Rovers found at ports was down 49 per cent in 2023, compared with the previous year.

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In a statement, JLR’s managing director, Patrick McGillycuddy, said: “We are constantly developing our systems and security features and through our close collaboration with police, we stay ahead of any emerging methods and quickly deploy anti-theft measures.”

McGillycuddy continued, saying: “This additional investment, coupled with our other ongoing and proactive action, shows our commitment to supporting the authorities in having a tangible impact on combating this issue in the UK.”

According to CAP HPI data, diesel versions of the Land Rover Discovery remain the third-most stolen vehicle per 100,000 examples on the road, with the Discovery Sport and baby Range Rover Evoque the fourth and fifth-most stolen cars respectively in this regard.

Earlier this year, car security and dashcam firm, Nextbase, claimed car theft has been “essentially decriminalised” after data from the Home Office revealed that the rate of conviction for car theft fell to a worrying 1.43 per cent in July 2023, with cases in London resulting in a charge as low as 0.69 per cent. 

That said, JLR says just 0.2 per cent of new Range Rover and new Range Rover Sports have been reported as stolen – we’ll let you decide whether that offers you much comfort – and “only 0.3 per cent” of new Land Rover Defender models have been affected by security issues.

What's your view on te JLR security issues? Let us know in the comments...

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Consumer reporter

Tom is Auto Express' Consumer reporter, meaning he spends his time investigating the stories that matter to all motorists - enthusiasts or otherwise. An ex-BBC journalist and Multimedia Journalism graduate, Tom previously wrote for partner sites Carbuyer and DrivingElectric and you may also spot him throwing away his dignity by filming videos for the Auto Express social media channels.

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