Motor Vehicles: Theft

Cabinet Office written question – answered at on 21 May 2024.

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Photo of Lord Birt Lord Birt Crossbench

To ask His Majesty's Government what percentage of annual vehicle theft in the UK is accomplished by offenders cloning the signal from the vehicle owner’s remote locking device.

Photo of Baroness Neville-Rolfe Baroness Neville-Rolfe Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

Please see the letter attached from the National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority.

The Lord Birt

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

9 May 2024

Dear Lord Birt,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what percentage of annual vehicle theft in the UK is accomplished by offenders cloning the signal from the vehicle owner’s remote locking device (HL4379).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publish figures on the levels and trends of crime in England and Wales primarily based on two sets of crime statistics: the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) and police recorded crime data. The CSEW provides estimates of the prevalence of crime and different crime types as experienced by victims, which may not always be reported to the police.

Table 1 shows an estimate of the percentage of households who have experienced theft of a vehicle, where the method of entry into the vehicle was through manipulation of the signal from the remote locking device. This is taken from our Nature of crime: vehicle-related theft tables for the year ending March 2023 published on 3 April 2024. Due to the suspension of the CSEW during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, data are not available for the year ending March 2021 and the year ending March 2022.

Unfortunately, we do not hold any information from police-recorded crime which shows what percentage of annual vehicle theft in England and Wales is accomplished by offenders cloning the signal from the vehicle owner’s remote locking device.

Crime and justice statistics for Scotland can be found on the Scottish Government website and for more information please contact Justice_Analysts@gov.scot. The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) are responsible for producing crime and justice statistics for Northern Ireland and can be contacted at statistics.research@justice-ni.x.gsi.gov.uk.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Estimated percentage of theft of vehicles where method of entry was through manipulation of the signal from remote locking device, year ending March 2019 to year ending March 2023 CSEW

England and Wales - household incidents, percentages

Apr’18 to Mar’19

Apr’19 to Mar’20

Apr’22 to Mar’23 [1]

Entry to vehicle through manipulation of signal from remote locking device[2]

13

36

40

Unweighted base – number of incidents[3]

46

50

51

Source: Office for National Statistics – Crime Survey for England and Wales

[1]CSEW estimates for the year ending March 2023 have been temporarily suspended of their National Statistics status. Caution should be taken when interpreting these estimates because of the impact of lower response rates, and reduced interviewer numbers on the quality of the estimates.

[2]This category was added into the survey from the year ending March 2019.

[3]Estimates that are based on fewer than 50 respondents should be interpreted with caution.

UKSA Letter (pdf, 120.0KB)

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