UK drivers could be caught out by a rise in car crime in the new year, as January is reportedly the worst month for car theft.
Online price comparison site USwitch has revealed data that shows car theft is 25% higher in the winter months. In a stark warning to motorists, a spokesperson for USwitch says the number of cars stolen is expected to get higher.
They said: “As the winter nights draw in and daylight hours are reduced, an analysis of stolen and recovered car theft data has revealed 25% more vehicles are stolen in the winter months than in the summer.
“Car tracking firm Tracker discovered that as the months get colder and darker, stolen vehicle rates get higher.
“According to police data, overall, January is the worst month for vehicle crime, with a whopping 41,029 reported in the first month of 2019.
“December and January are peak months for car crime, as it’s when we typically experience harsh frosty mornings, and drivers often leave cars unattended whilst de-icing, which presents itself as a prime opportunity for criminal gangs.
South Yorkshire Police has urged drivers to remain vigilant throughout the winter to avoid being the victim of car-related crimes. Roads Policing Sergeant Matt Duffy has warned drivers could even be issued with fines for refusing to be sensible on cold mornings.
He said: “Please lock your car every time you get out; do not leave your car running for any reason, even on your own driveway.
“If officers see a car engine running without a driver inside, we can report you to your insurance company or issue you with a fine.
“We don’t want to issue anyone a ticket for something that can be avoided, but we must take action. Thieves that steal cars pose a risk to our communities.
“Stolen cars are more likely to be used in further crimes, be driven dangerously, and take extra risks, including failing to stop for officers.
“This creates risks for other drivers on the road and pedestrians, and gives thieves the opportunity to commit crimes and impact on people’s lives.”