Ilford is one of UK’s car theft hotspots

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 August 2018

Romford and Ilford have been revealed as the areas where drivers face the highest risk of car theft in the UK according to a new survey by MoneySuperMarket. Photo: PA/Joe Giddens

Romford and Ilford have been revealed as the areas where drivers face the highest risk of car theft in the UK according to a new survey by MoneySuperMarket. Photo: PA/Joe Giddens

PA/Press Association Images

Drivers in Ilford face a high risk of car theft in the UK according to a survey which analysed recent car insurance inquiries.

Data from more than five million MoneySuperMarket car insurance inquiries between July 2017 and June 2018 was analysed to identify areas with the highest rate of reported car theft claims within a five year period.

Romford topped the list with a reported rate of 13.5 per 1,000 incidents, and Ilford came in a close second with a rate of 13 per 1,000 incidents.

London Assembly member for Havering and Redbridge, Keith Prince used to work as the deputy mayor’s adviser for police and crime prevention and has previously had his car and motorbike stolen in the borough.

He told the Recorder: “It’s a combination of things. First of all, Romford is an area where people come to commit crime and it’s an area where people tend to park their car on the driveway. It’s the same for Ilford.

“Before, [thieves] would break into the house, steal the keys and then steal the car. But with modern key-less cars there is a device that you can get whereby you only have to stand in range of the keys, transmit a signal and then you can unlock the car without having to break into the house.

“People don’t know about this and that’s the problem.”

Mr Prince also said that police cuts have contributed to a general rise in crime across the whole of London.

“There are a couple of things that you can do to protect yourself,” he added.

“If you’re going to park your car on the drive, then you should use an additional method to disable it.

“A very good deterrent is a steering lock. Or, you could put your keys in a metal tin.

“That does two things – it prevents burglars from being able to find your keys and will stop a signal from reaching them and unlocking the car.”

According to the survey, Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, Scotland is officially one of the safest places to keep a car, alongside Jersey and neighbouring Guernsey with no car thefts stated.

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