A new report has revealed the number of vehicle thefts in Lichfield and Burntwood are among the highest in Staffordshire.
The figures for the 12 months to November 2020 were revealed in a report due to be discussed by an overview and scrutiny committee meeting at Lichfield District Council next week.
It showed that the number of thefts of vehicles per 1,000 people was an average of 2.1 – the second highest figure in the Staffordshire Police area.
The county-wide rate is 1.6 per 1,000 people.
“Communities in higher-value suburban areas with detached homes and lower-levels of overall housing density are in at risk groups.
“Analysis across the force-area suggests that households in the most affluent parts of affected areas have been disproportionately affected by car key burglaries.
“Rates of motor vehicle thefts per 1,000 population in Lichfield are the second highest in the force-area.
“These offences have typically been focused in the south-east of the area, with Tamworth and Lichfield particularly affected.”Community Safety Strategic Assessment
The breakdown reveals that Shenstone and Chasetown are the two highest areas in Lichfield district with rates of 15.1 and 13.4 respectively.
The report added that Shenstone’s vehicle theft figures are almost double the average for England and Wales.
“Offences appear to be particularly targeted and have affected areas and communities which typically do not experience high levels of overall crime.
“The wards in the force-area with some of the highest proportions of burglaries resulting in a vehicle theft are also often wards with some of the lowest rates of crime overall.”Community Safety Strategic Assessment
“Approaches to vehicle theft have changed”
The report said the way vehicles were being taken was changing, with criminals finding new ways to beat security measures.
“As anti-theft technology in vehicles has improved, approaches to vehicle theft have changed.
“With many modern vehicles unable to be driven without their keys, criminals are increasingly using burglary to facilitate vehicle theft – entering properties purely to steal vehicle keys and key fobs and then driving the stolen vehicle away from the scene.
“There additionally remains challenge relating to the use of electronic devices to facilitate theft of vehicles which use ‘keyless’ technology without the criminal needing to access the key fob itself.
“So-called ‘relay attacks’ can be committed without an individual needing to physically access the keys, using a device to pick up the key fobs signal from indoors, and ‘relay’ this to the vehicle outdoors.
“Regionally, it is considered that this approach to vehicle theft has contributed significantly to the rise in vehicle thefts across the West Midlands region.”Community Safety Strategic Assessment
The report will be discussed at a meeting on 10th March.