MP urges car makers to beef up security amid West Midlands crime surge

The West Midlands is a car crime hotspot

Stuart Anderson said firms need to do more to “make cars harder to steal” and put and end to the “misery”of catalytic converter theft.

The West Midlands has one of the highest car crime rates in the country, with vehicle theft now above pre-pandemic levels, having increased 13 per cent from the year ending 2019 to the end of 2021.

Wolverhampton South West MP Mr Anderson has also urged West Midlands Police to lead a “coordinated response” to reducing anti-social behaviour.

Speaking at the start of ASB (anti-social behaviour) Awareness Week, Mr Anderson said: “Despite significant investment, too many residents continue to be affected by crime, including anti-social behaviour.

“I will continue to work with key partners in Wolverhampton to change the situation for the better.

“I am clear, too, that vehicle manufacturers must urgently explore what changes can be made to put an end to the misery of catalytic converter theft.”

He said manufacturers have the power to pioneer new ways to tackle catalytic converter theft, and that the automotive industry must look at what “technological and design changes” can be made to minimise the risk of electronic compromise, making cars harder to steal and harder to steal from.

West Midlands Police has prioritised car theft and, since Operation Cantil was launched at the end of 2020, has made more than 2,000 arrests and seized more than 1,000 stolen vehicles.

The region’s police and crime commissioner, Simon Foster, has continued his predecessor’s campaign for improved security on cars.

He has also asked ministers to publish a car theft index of vehicles most likely to be pinched.

Mr Foster said: “I want the Government to start publishing a car theft index – that’s an index of those cars that are most likely to be stolen.

“I want them to do that so that consumers can make an informed choice when they come to purchase a vehicle.”

The car models most likely to be stolen in the West Midlands are Range Rovers, Fords and Alfa Romeos.

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