Stolen vans hit record high

14th November 2019

Van theft across the UK has soared by 45% over the last four years, with 30,000 vehicles stolen since 2015, official police figures show.

A total of 32,056 vans have been stolen over the last four years, with almost 10,000 thefts recorded in the last year alone. The 2018/19 figures represent a year-on-year rise of 4% and a 45% increase since 2015/16.Of the 9,371 van thefts reported in the past 12 months, the Metropolitan Police recorded more than half of the total with 4,777 commercial vehicles stolen in the area – a rise of 15%.

The biggest yearly increase in thefts was reported in Leicestershire with ten times more vans stolen in 2018/19 than records for the year before. Van thefts in North Wales doubled, while West Yorkshire police records show a 67% rise. In fact, West Yorkshire was the second highest overall (931 thefts), followed by the West Midlands (409), Essex (387) and Leicestershire (377).

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is advising van owners and fleet managers to ensure their vehicles are fitted with the latest anti-theft devices as well as remembering to remove expensive tools from vehicles at night.

  • Park in well-lit areas or car parks with CCTV or, alternatively, position your van so that the doors are blocked by another vehicle or object.
  • Window guards or full internal bulkheads can stop would-be thieves seeing inside.
  • Adding security film to the side or back window glass can stop criminals smashing it.
  • Fitting additional locks to rear and sliding doors can help deter thieves.
  • Invest in lockable internal racking or secure storage boxes for your most valuable tools.
  • Fitting a tracker can help police hunt down the van if it is stolen, plus it may reduce your insurance premium.

As part of the Business Pack available across its Caddy, Transporter and Crafter van range, an anti-theft alarm system can be specified with interior monitoring, back-up horn and tow-away protection.As part of its Working With You promise, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles also offers a variety of lockable racking solutions and storage boxes for expensive tools.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is also currently offering a deal on its Meta Trak subscription, which allows owners to track their vans in real-time and receive instant smartphone alerts with full UK and European coverage. The one-year kit is currently offered with one month free while those opting for a three-year subscription receive three months free.

“Vans are the lifeblood of so many businesses up and down the country and it’s not only the emotional stress of replacing the vehicle but also the days and weeks of letting customers down and the cost of replacing tools, often worth thousands of pounds, before you can get back to ‘business as usual’,” Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Head of Service & Parts Operations, David Hanna, said.

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