According to new data from APU, one in 10 of all stolen vehicles in the UK are company owned. Of all vehicle crime across the country, data recorded from 43 of the 45 police forces reported an estimated 565,000 cases of theft and taking without consent (TWOC). However, a total of 6,100 or 10.8 per cent involved commercially owned vehicles.
Types of vehicle crime
Even though incidents of theft and TWOC with an aggravating factor were more likely to affect private individuals than commercial enterprises, 7.3 per cent of cases (2,200 out of 30,000) were linked to business owners. Company vehicles were less likely to be affected by key burglaries too, with only 5,700 of 106,000 (5.4 per cent) falling foul of this crime.
Even so, the statistics show that approximately 11,200 commercially owned vehicles are stolen every year, which will come as worrying news to numerous entrepreneurs and enterprises. Concerns won’t be helped by the fact that the average recovery rate was 49.6 per cent, which means the status of over half of stolen vehicles is unknown.
The cost of vehicle crime
With the BCA valuing the average fleet vehicle at £9,455 in 2014 alongside the loss of 5,600 vehicles per year, businesses could potentially lose a total of £52.9m from vehicle crime.
There is a strong chance that justice may never be served either. Some 52 per cent of crimes in 2013 were classified as “investigation complete, no suspect identified,” while the police did not even attend approximately a quarter of vehicle theft cases. As a result half of vehicles lost every year could easily go without investigation.
“A very real and very expensive threat”
“This comprehensive study shows that vehicle crime remains a very real and very expensive threat to businesses,” says Neil Thomas, Head of Investigative Services at APU. “Criminals are using increasingly sophisticated methods to target high-value and prestige vehicles; the latest models with the most up-to-date security provisions are by no means immune.
“The monetary value of the lost vehicles can only be described as the tip of the iceberg, as many recovered vehicles are found damaged or burnt out and subsequently written off. In reality, the loss figure is likely to be higher still. Increasing pressure on police forces in the form of budget cuts and overstretched resources means not enough time can be dedicated to the retrieval of these stolen vehicles.”