More than one in 10 vehicles stolen between 2009 and 2014 belonged to companies rather than individuals, new research suggests.

Based on data recorded over the six-year period by 43 of the 45 UK police forces, Asset Protection Unit – an anti-fraud company – estimates that were 565,000 vehicle thefts, with a total of 61,000 involving commercially-owned vehicles.

According to APU’s investigation, almost half (49.6%) of the stolen vehicles were recovered, meaning a possible loss of 5600 business vehicles per year.

Meanwhile, a quarter of vehicle thefts in 2013 were not attended by police forces, a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in 2014 claimed.

“This comprehensive study shows that vehicle crime remains a very real and very expensive threat to businesses,” said 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,” he added.

Thomas suggested that the police, insurers and businesses should work together more to bring down the rate of crime.

“Part of the problem is that the police often consider that, if the stolen car belongs to a business rather than private individual, it is a ‘civil crime’,” Thomas said.
“This is further evidence that there needs to be greater cooperation between police, insurance firms, law enforcement agencies and private companies if valuable assets are to be protected,” he continued.