car crime hotspot

Car crime remains a prevalent concern in many cities worldwide, and Manchester here in the UK, is no exception.

Following on from a recent blog (linked here) in which we looked at three car crime hotspots in the UK and how they impact those who live and work there, we wanted to delve into those areas in more detail, starting with Manchester.

Despite advancements in vehicle security technology, symbolised by the amazing trackers we sell, criminals continuously adapt their methods to exploit vulnerabilities. It’s a never-ending game of cat-and-mouse and never more prevalent than in large cities like Greater Manchester.

This area and the police force that covers it, are not just limited to the city centre; it also covers large towns like Bolton, Stockport and Rochdale, along with several surrounding smaller suburbs and villages.

The worst district, at least by postcode, is M2 but this includes shopping areas, the Manchester Central Convention Complex (formerly known as the GMEX) and hotel districts, with theft from a motor vehicle representing half of all offences committed here.

As would might expect, car crime drops considerably as you move away from the city centre into the suburbs, with cars parked in the M1 postcode being almost twice as safe as those parked in the city centre but still at a high risk. You’d have to be in M33 to tangibly limit your risk.

Whilst it might seem counter-intuitive, these stats confirm the notion that criminals always prefer the anonymity of bustling shopping districts compared to the quieter suburbs where they might be more noticeable. Hiding in plain sight you might say.

In this article, we delve into the current landscape of car crime in Manchester, exploring recent statistics, common theft techniques employed by thieves and, more importantly, effective preventive measures.

Understanding the Scope

According to recent reports by Greater Manchester Police (GMP), car crime remains a significant issue in the region. Moreover, incidents such as vandalism, break-ins and theft from vehicles contribute to the overall concern regarding vehicle security.

As we’ve previously shown, the city of Manchester has one of the highest rates of car crime in the UK (per 10,000 registered vehicles). In real terms, this means that 3 out of every 10 vehicles are subjected to some form of attack. Hopefully, you’re not one of them.

Methods Employed by Car Thieves

Car thieves employ various tactics ranging from traditional low-fi methods to far more sophisticated techniques. Some of the common strategies include:

Keyless Entry Theft: With the rise of keyless entry systems in almost all modern cars, criminals have adapted by using relay devices to intercept the signals between key fobs and vehicles. By amplifying the key’s signal, thieves can unlock and start vehicles without needing physical access to the keys themselves. You might think they’re safe in your house or bag, but think again.

Jamming Signals: Thieves can also use signal jamming devices to disrupt remote locking systems, preventing owners from properly securing their vehicles. This technique is often employed in crowded areas such as parking lots, where owners may not even notice the failed locking signal.

Lock Picking and Key Cloning: Traditional methods like lock picking and key cloning are still prevalent, especially among more opportunistic thieves. By gaining physical access to the vehicle, criminals can bypass security systems and create duplicates of keys for future thefts.

Towing: Old school for sure, but in some cases, thieves still resort to towing vehicles away to secluded locations where they can dismantle or sell them for parts. Something much more common in larger cities with a steady supply of victims. This method is more common for larger vehicles or those parked in isolated areas. Don’t think that just because you don’t have a luxury or high-end car you’re safe. Thieves looking to steal cars for parts focus on the more ‘everyday’ car because they know the supply for parts is much larger.

Preventive Measures: Safeguarding Your Vehicle

While car crime hotspots like Manchester pose a persistent threat, there are several proactive measures you can take to minimise the risk of theft:

Invest in Security Technology: Consider installing additional security features such as steering wheel locks, wheel clamps, and immobilisers to deter thieves. High-quality alarm systems with motion sensors and GPS tracking capabilities can also help in recovering stolen vehicles. We have a wide range of these right here in our store.

Secure Parking: Where possible, park your vehicle in well-lit, populated areas. Utilise secure parking facilities with CCTV surveillance and manned patrols to reduce the likelihood of theft.

Key Management: Be vigilant with your key fob and avoid leaving it unattended or visible near entry points. Store keys in a secure location within your home to prevent unauthorised access.

Signal Blocking Devices: To combat relay attacks, consider using signal-blocking pouches (like a Faraday case) or cases to shield key fobs from potential interception. These inexpensive accessories can effectively prevent unauthorised access to your vehicle’s entry system.

Regular Maintenance: Keep your vehicle well-maintained to ensure all security features are functioning correctly. Check for any signs of tampering or attempted theft, such as scratches around the locks or dashboard.

Community Vigilance: Stay informed about car crime trends in your area, no matter where you live, and communicate with neighbours to share information and raise awareness. Reporting suspicious activities to the authorities can help prevent future incidents.

Insurance Coverage: Review your insurance policy to ensure adequate coverage against theft and vandalism. Consider adding comprehensive coverage to protect your vehicle in case of theft or damage. We have a range of insurance-approved trackers right here.

There’s no denying that car crime remains a significant concern for motorists in Manchester and across the UK with thieves employing various tactics to steal your vehicles but by understanding the current landscape of car crime and implementing preventive measures, we can help you effectively safeguard your vehicles against theft and vandalism.

By investing in security technology like the incredible trackers in our store, but also practising good key management and staying vigilant, we can all reduce the risk of falling victim to car crime and enjoy peace of mind on the roads of Manchester and further afield.

If you need any help with choosing the right tracker for your car, van, motorbike, motorhome or trailer, please get in touch with our dedicated Customer Support team. They are available between 9 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday, on 0330 043 3993 and will be more than happy to assist you no matter where you live. Remember, UK-wide installations is available at a time and place to suit you.

London, a bustling metropolis, offers a vibrant tapestry of culture, commerce and history.

However, amidst its grandeur, lies a shadowy underworld of car crime that many of us don’t see, but can be easily impacted by.

From thefts to vandalism, the city’s streets witness a myriad of automotive misdemeanours.

In this blog, we delve into the depths of car crime in London that we touched upon in a previous post, exploring the latest statistics, the methods employed by thieves and crucial tips for prevention.

Unveiling the Scale of Car Crime in London

The streets of London, like most capital cities, have long been plagued by car-related criminal activities, with theft being a significant concern.

According to recent statistics released by the Metropolitan Police, car theft remains a prevalent issue, with thousands of vehicles reported stolen each year.

In 2023 alone, over 25,000 vehicles were reported stolen across London, highlighting the persistent threat posed by car crime in the city.

Furthermore, the data reveals that certain boroughs bear a disproportionate burden of car theft. Areas such as Westminster, Camden and Hackney frequently feature among the hotspots for car crime, indicating a geographical concentration of criminal activity.

These statistics underscore the urgent need for enhanced vigilance and preventive measures to combat car crime effectively and that’s where we come in.

The Tactics of Thieves: Unraveling the Methods Behind Car Theft

Car thieves are adept at exploiting vulnerabilities in vehicles, employing a variety of tactics to accomplish their nefarious objectives. For every new protection, they will (eventually) find a way around it.

One of the most common methods utilised by criminals is keyless car theft, also known as relay theft.

This sophisticated technique involves intercepting the signal that emanates between a key fob and the vehicle, allowing thieves to gain unauthorised access and drive away undetected.

Moreover, thieves often target vehicles parked in secluded or poorly lit areas, where the risk of detection is minimised. Areas like this are often in abundance in cities like London.

Opportunistic criminals may also resort to old-school techniques such as smashing windows or forcibly entering vehicles to steal valuables or even the entire car! No method is off-limit to the most determined car thief.

In addition to traditional theft methods, technology has facilitated the emergence of cyber-enabled car crime. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities within in-vehicle software systems to remotely access and control cars, bypassing traditional security measures. This is becoming particularly widespread as we move towards electric cars and the centralised software they use. Incidentally, if you do have an electric vehicle, you might want to check out this blog.

Strategies to Thwart Car Theft

While the threat of car crime looms large, there are several proactive measures that vehicle owners can adopt to safeguard their prized possessions.

Invest in Anti-Theft Devices: Installing relatively primitive but more visible protections like steering wheel locks, wheel clamps and gearstick guards can serve as effective deterrents against theft. These physical barriers make it significantly more challenging for thieves to abscond with a vehicle because it will take more time, reducing the likelihood of successful theft attempts.

Utilise Tracking Systems: Tracking devices, like those sold in our store, enables owners and the Police to monitor the whereabouts of vehicles in real time. In the event of theft, these systems facilitate swift recovery efforts, increasing the chances of apprehending the culprits and retrieving the stolen vehicle.

Secure Parking: Opting for secure parking facilities equipped with surveillance cameras and adequate lighting can substantially reduce the risk of car theft. Well-lit areas and monitored parking garages serve as deterrents to potential thieves, making it less likely for them to target parked vehicles.

Be Vigilant with Key Management: To mitigate the risk of keyless car theft, owners should adopt precautionary measures such as storing key fobs in signal-blocking pouches (known as Faraday cases) or investing in signal-blocking cases. Additionally, avoiding leaving keys or spare key fobs unattended can help prevent unauthorised access to vehicles.

Stay Updated on Security Measures: Regularly updating vehicle software and security systems is paramount in thwarting cyber-enabled car crime. Manufacturers often release patches and updates to address potential vulnerabilities, including any apps that accompany tracking systems, ensuring that vehicles remain resilient against emerging threats.

Community Vigilance: Establishing neighbourhood watch programs or community initiatives focused on combating car crime fosters a collective sense of security. By encouraging vigilance and prompt reporting of suspicious activities, communities can effectively deter criminals and safeguard against potential threats. You could, for example, set up a WhatsApp group with neighbours to help highlight areas of concern in your street.

Car crime in London, or anywhere for that matter, represents a multifaceted challenge, characterised by evolving tactics and persistent threats.

While the latest statistics underscore the scale of the problem, proactive measures and community engagement offer a beacon of hope in the fight against automotive crime, particularly if a car tracker is fitted.

By fortifying your vehicle’s defences (one of our incredible trackers won’t hurt), staying abreast of emerging threats and remaining vigilant, vehicle owners like us can navigate the urban landscape in London and further afield with greater confidence, safeguarding our prized possessions from the clutches of car crime.

Our dedicated Customer Support team can help you find the perfect tracker for you, whether you live in London or Loughborough, John O’Groats to Land’s End. Our installation team can come to your home or your place of work at a time and date to suit you. Just give us a call on 0330 043 3993 between 9am and 6pm, Mon – Fri and we’ll get your car, van, motorhome or motorbike secured in no time.

We recently started a series of blogs looking at the top ten car crime hotspots in the UK. If you missed them, you can take a look at the ones we did for Leicester and Slough. Those were based on figures released in 2021, but in the meantime, the latest statistics including those for the first half of 2022 have been released.

If you live in Leicester or Slough, there’s good news….. and bad. Leicester has dropped from #1 to #7 and Slough has disappeared from the Top 10 entirely. Sadly, these lists still exist because car crime is still virulent in the UK and for those of you living in South London, specifically Croydon, it’s time to take a serious look at your vehicle security.

In a survey released by insurance giant Direct Line using their wealth of national claim data, they have identified Croydon as the number one in UK’s car crime hotspot chart. The list doesn’t just include thefts of vehicles, but also vehicle crime as a proportion of all crime reported and vehicle crime per 1000 people to give an overall outlook of the nation as a whole.

BIG CITY. BIG PROBLEM.

Car Crime

It’s probably no great surprise that the areas of London would feature highly in any list like this. Croydon in the south of the city, which topped the list, recorded over 6005 car crimes in one year, that’s over 16 car crimes reported every single day for a year! When you look at the big picture, even taking London as a whole, there are 113 car crimes for every 10,000 people.

Nearly 10% of all crimes recorded in the capital involved a vehicle. In other words, it recorded more than 321,000 crimes over the past three years, or 293 every single day!

CAR THIEVES BECOME MORE BRAZEN

With this explosion in car theft, you might be thinking that you only need to look at how to secure your vehicle at night, but you’d be wrong. This, and many other pieces of research, all point to the fact that thieves are becoming more brazen in their attempt to steal your vehicle.

If you analyse the data, you’d see that most vehicles are targeted whilst parked outside their owner’s home. That could be on the road outside or even on a private driveway. They accounted for 27% and 39% respectively. Back in 2009/10, car crimes committed during the day only accounted for 19% of those crimes. A decade or so later on, it’s now over 35%, but there is something you can do to fight back.

Many Police chiefs warn that thieves are exploiting keyless entry systems, especially as that technology becomes more common in our cars, bikes and motorhomes.

DON’T BECOME A VICTIM OF CAR CRIME.

For all the doom and gloom these studies might illustrate, there are things you can do to protect yourself. Some of the most effective solutions to keep your vehicle safe are things that don’t cost you anything. Keeping your vehicle secured behind a locked garage door or gate, stored / parked in a well-lit area, particularly at night, will go a long way to helping keep it safe.

In an effort to counter-act the threat from keyless entry theft there are also some simple measures you can take. Store your keys away from your front door and, if possible, keep them in a Faraday case (or bag) to prevent the signal from being duplicated when not in use.

If you’re wanting to take your levels of security to the next level, then a car tracker is exactly what you need. Here at Infiniti, we have a huge range of vehicle trackers  that suit everyone, regardless of where you live, what vehicle you drive or what price point you’re looking at.

We stock a huge range of S5 and S7 trackers from all the leading manufacturers like SmarTrack, ScorpionTrack, MetaTrak and Tracker.

By buying from Infiniti Tracking you get:

 An incredible system installed at your convenience, anywhere in the UK.

 A dedicated team of experts to help you choose the right system for your requirements.

⚬ Peace of mind to know your pride and joy will be protected should the worst happen.

Whether you live in Croydon, Greater London or anywhere else in the UK, we have a solution that will help keep your car secure. Our huge range of car trackers has something for everyone and all are available to be installed anywhere in the UK. Just give our team a call from Monday to Friday (9am-6pm) on 0330 043 3993 and we’ll get you booked in. Don’t wait until you’re a victim of car crime before taking action!

If you’ve read one of our previous blogs discussing the Top 10 Cities for car crime, then you might have been surprised that Leicester was number one. You might conclude that you’re safe if you live in the south but sadly, you’re out of luck. Slough in Berkshire was number two on the list! If you thought living down the road from the Queen would keep your vehicle safe, think again.

Between May 2021 and April 2022, statistics from the Home Office showed that there were a massive 5138 car crimes reported across Berkshire, including the key county towns of Slough, Reading, Chalvey and Upton. Despite the advances in car security, it seems that the equipment you get as standard, even in brand new cars, isn’t enough to keep your car out of their thieving hands.

HOW THIEVES STEAL YOUR CAR

As technology within even the most modest family car gets more and more advanced, so do the techniques thieves use to whisk your pride and joy away from you. You don’t have to live in any of the Top 10 areas for car crime to become a victim of it.

Many of the basic techniques you can use to prevent yourself from being a victim of car crime are still just as relevant today as they ever were. Make sure your vehicle’s doors are securely locked and that the windows and sunroof, if you have one, are also firmly shut.

Even if they don’t steal the car itself, many crimes involve the theft of registration plates, so make sure you have tamper-resistant screws fitted. If your car has alloy wheels, ensure you also have locking wheel nuts installed.

BEWARE THE RELAY ATTACK

As we mentioned earlier, the advances in car security have also given rise to a speight of car theft that uses cutting-edge technology to get around even the most sophisticated systems. This is where things like keyless entry have become the go-to tactic for many thieves.

Keyless entry theft, sometimes referred to as a relay attack, relies on the key fobs that many modern cars utilise instead of a physical key that goes into an ignition.

Using their own pieces of technology, thieves will position themselves between your key and car, usually by standing just outside your front door, and hijack the legitimate signal emitted from your fob, relaying the signal to your car, so it opens up and even allows itself to be started. Once that’s done, they simply drive away without you even noticing, until it’s too late of course.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

Keyless entry thefts blur the lines between high-tech and low-tech. The equipment used is advanced, but the method isn’t. Thankfully you can easily protect yourself against it by keeping your car keys away from the front door to stop them from stealing the signal or, better still, keep them in a Faraday box which keeps the signal contained.

Should the worst happen and your car is stolen, whether it’s an all-time classic car or a cutting-edge luxury motor, you’re going to need something to help recover the vehicle quickly and safely. Car trackers are the way to go.

Having a device covertly installed on your car means that there will be no hiding place for them. We have a range of devices to suit every vehicle, from cars, motorbikes, vans and motorhomes and to fit every budget.

Whilst many share the same fantastic features like 24/7 control centre availability and dedicated apps with real-time alerts and notifications, some also come with the latest vehicle protections including Remote Immobilisation, ‘No-Tag-No-Start’ technology and multi-frequency tracking to make sure you always, ALWAYS know where your vehicle is.

With Infiniti Tracking in your corner you will:

 Benefit from UK-wide fitting by our fully trained professional installation engineers.

 A huge range of Thatcham and insurance-approved trackers for all cars, motorbikes, motorhomes and vans.

⚬ Find a tracker that suits your circumstances, vehicle and budget.

Whether you live in Slough, or anywhere else in the UK, we have a car tracker within our range of products for you. Our team are available from 9 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday on 0330 043 3993 to help you choose and to arrange installation. We look forward to helping you on your journey from Berkshire to car security heaven!

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