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“Car crime will be a big issue at the next election”

While some fingers are being pointed at manufacturers when it comes to car crime, editor-in-chief Steve Fowler thinks little is being done to tackle the root cause of the problems

Opinion - car crime

The reverberations following our interview with JLR boss Patrick McGillycuddy continue, especially around his comments on car security. Jaguar Land Rover held an event to discuss the issue, with news coming out that the company is to pay “several hundreds of thousands of pounds” to beef up policing at UK container ports where stolen cars and parts are shipped abroad.

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We asked the Home Office why a private company should have to pay to bolster police efforts like this, but it declined to comment...

While many – rightly – think JLR and other car makers should be doing more to secure the models they sell, staying ahead of organised thieves is a battle. It has been for the 30-plus years I’ve been writing about cars.

However, while fingers seem to be pointing at the car makers, little is being done to tackle the root cause of this – the gangs of criminals that commit the crimes.

Recently revealed stats show the shocking truth that in the 12 months to June 2023, the average charge rate for stolen vehicles nationwide was just 2.12 per cent. Even worse is that it’s dropping, hitting 1.32 per cent last June.

It’s free rein for car thieves, it seems, so who’s responsible for this car-crime epidemic? Manufacturers need to make their cars as secure as possible, although who can be sure that today’s tech won’t be overcome by tomorrow’s thieves? I think JLR is doing a decent thing by upgrading older cars up to six years old.

We’re always reminded that we have a responsibility ourselves to keep our belongings secure. But for me the biggest finger points in two directions: at the low-life who seek to make money by stealing our cars. And then the people who are supposed to be keeping us and our cars safe and secure – the police and their bosses in Government. We’ll be making car crime a big issue at the next election, and we hope you will, too.

Click here for our guide on car security...

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Editor-in-chief

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

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