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Old 08-02-2018, 08:46 AM   #1
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Industry News- USED CAR BUYERS BEWARE A THIEF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING

Nationwide spike in car theft should ring alarm bells for shoppers, warns TRACKER
www.tracker.co.uk

With news that car theft has increased by 30% over the past three years, and the last annual police recorded vehicle theft count exceeding 85,000*, stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert, TRACKER, is urging used car buyers to remain vigilant when on the hunt for a bargain.

Weaknesses in modern vehicle security systems have been attributed to the spike in crime in recent years, leaving owners vulnerable to attack, but says Andy Barrs, Head of Police Liaison at TRACKER, buyers also need to be on their guard.

“Over 50% of the vehicles stolen in the UK are never found and returned to their rightful owner, with many prestige vehicles stolen to order and shipped abroad,” explains Andy Barrs of TRACKER, part of the Tantalum Corporation. “In 2016 alone, over 85,000 cars were reported stolen, which could lead to an increase in the number of stolen cars being cloned and offered for sale by unscrupulous thieves. Additionally, this doesn’t take into account the tens of thousands of vehicles stolen in previous years that could also be offered to innocent buyers.”

“There are serious consequences if you are caught driving a stolen car. If you are pulled over by the police who check the vehicle and discover it to be stolen, you could face being arrested for either theft or handling stolen goods. Even once you’ve proved you are an innocent purchaser, you still stand to lose both the car and the money you paid for it because you are not the legal owner and your insurance policy is unlikely to cover this scenario.”

The good news is that anyone in the market for a used car can protect themselves in a few easy steps, says TRACKER. When viewing a potential purchase, check the vehicle for new registration plates. If they are new, buyers should ask why they have been replaced because it could be disguising the car’s true identity. Check that both sets of keys are present and work, since it could indicate the car is stolen or, allow thieves to steal it in the future with the second key.

“Don’t forget to check the vehicle identification number (VIN) for any visible signs that it has been altered; the VIN is usually visible via an inspection plate adjacent to the driver’s seat and the front nearside windscreen area. Similarly, head to the GOV.UK website and look at the ‘check you’re not buying a stolen vehicle’ section as it contains valuable advice that could point to the vehicle as being stolen.

Andy Barrs concludes, “Buyers need to keep their wits about them, by taking some simple steps to spot a stolen vehicle. For instance, a seller who won’t give their address or phone number and offers to meet at a car park or service station could well have something to hide. It’s also worth checking that the title and registration match the name and address of the seller.

“We advise buyers to always be on their guard, especially if a deal seems too good to be true. If in doubt, walk away.”

TRACKER celebrates 25 years of reuniting car lovers with their vehicles, and it’s this expertise which makes TRACKER the leader in stolen vehicle recovery. TRACKER’s unique SVR technology can locate stolen vehicles anywhere, even when they are hidden in a garage or shipping container. The discreet TRACKER SVR systems work like an electronic homing device. A covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places around the vehicle. There is no visible aerial, so the thief won’t even know it’s there.


TRACKER’S TOP TIPS TO AVOID BUYING A STOLEN CAR
•Is the seller keen to meet in a car park or at a motorway services, rather than their home? Always ask for proof of residency and check this against the V5.
•Beware sellers who are evasive about giving out their phone number or the number appears as ‘withheld’.
•If the car has new registration plates, ask why. A new plate could be disguising its real identity.
•Do the window markings on all the windows match? If one is different it could have been replaced as a result of a forced entry or a bid to remove its legal identity.
•Visit www.gov.uk/checks-when-buying-a-used-car to confirm details match DVLA records and MoT information is up-to-date and correct.
•Consider paying for a vehicle provenance check from a reputable online provider to check if it has a hidden history. Some provenance checks come with a Guarantee to protect buyers.
•Ensure both keys are present with the car and work.
•If in doubt, ask the seller for references about past financing and insurance on the vehicle. Verify the information with the bank, finance company or agent.
•Ensure the vehicle’s unique 17 digit identification number (VIN) on the car’s chassis is present, secure and unaltered.
•ALWAYS be suspicious of deals that seem too good to be true!


*A Freedom of Information request showed that a total of 65,783 vehicles were reported stolen to 40 police forces in England and Wales in 2013, but by 2016 it had risen to 85,688
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:08 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting very informative and a help for the future
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:05 PM   #3
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"*A Freedom of Information request showed that a total of 65,783 vehicles were reported stolen to 40 police forces in England and Wales in 2013, but by 2016 it had risen to 85,688"

I've been trying to wrap my head around these figures from a recent freedom of information act in the context of wider date from the ONS and I just can't make sense of it...

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulat...eft/2017-07-20

Police reported crimes related to vehicle thefts in 2013 was 387,000, and in 2016 it was 366,000. That's a reduction of around 5%....?? But the numbers are so vastly different?

What I think it's based on is 'Thefts from person", as the December 2016 excel table gives us a total figure of 86,548 for this category. However, this number encompasses all thefts, from home burglary, mobile phone stealing, bike thefts and vehicle thefts. So it's not particularly accurate at deterring the trends in vehicle related thefts specifically.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulat...areadatatables

Although that just raises more questions about why the numbers are so different. My guess is that vehicle related thefts are being categorised into the vehicle offences (which will include all many of vehicle related offences), where as any other theft related crime is in that category. So in fact, the 86k may not include any data on vehicle related crimes at all...!

The actual number of vehicle related thefts can be found in this spreadsheet:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulat...appendixtables

In the second sheet, you can see that the incidence of vehicle related thefts have gone from 43 per 1,000 households in 2013, to 32 per 1,000 in 2016. There has been a slight increase to 36 per 1,000 in 2017, but still lower than the rate in 2013. Given that the rate was 94 per 1,000 in 2003, it's still remarkably low in historic terms....

So while I do think there are serious doubts over the validity of a 30% rise, even if it were true it might seem dramatic, but in the context of the overall long-term trends, it's actually still very low compared to the late 90s and early 00s...

But of course are impartial friend Mr Andy Barrs has no incentive on making the situation around vehicle thefts seem more catastrophic than it really is...I mean...it's not as if he works for a company that profits from creating fear in this area.....

...oh wait....

Last edited by DrEskimo; 08-02-2018 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 08-02-2018, 01:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrEskimo View Post
"*A Freedom of Information request showed that a total of 65,783 vehicles were reported stolen to 40 police forces in England and Wales in 2013, but by 2016 it had risen to 85,688"

I've been trying to wrap my head around these figures from a recent freedom of information act in the context of wider date from the ONS and I just can't make sense of it...

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulat...eft/2017-07-20

Police reported crimes related to vehicle thefts in 2013 was 387,000, and in 2016 it was 366,000. That's a reduction of around 5%....?? But the numbers are so vastly different?

What I think it's based on is 'Thefts from person", as the December 2016 excel table gives us a total figure of 86,548 for this category. However, this number encompasses all thefts, from home burglary, mobile phone stealing, bike thefts and vehicle thefts. So it's not particularly accurate at deterring the trends in vehicle related thefts specifically.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulat...areadatatables

Although that just raises more questions about why the numbers are so different. My guess is that vehicle related thefts are being categorised into the vehicle offences (which will include all many of vehicle related offences), where as any other theft related crime is in that category. So in fact, the 86k may not include any data on vehicle related crimes at all...!

The actual number of vehicle related thefts can be found in this spreadsheet:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulat...appendixtables

In the second sheet, you can see that the incidence of vehicle related thefts have gone from 43 per 1,000 households in 2013, to 32 per 1,000 in 2016. There has been a slight increase to 36 per 1,000 in 2017, but still lower than the rate in 2013. Given that the rate was 94 per 1,000 in 2003, it's still remarkably low in historic terms....

So while I do think there are serious doubts over the validity of a 30% rise, even if it were true it might seem dramatic, but in the context of the overall long-term trends, it's actually still very low compared to the late 90s and early 00s...

But of course are impartial friend Mr Andy Barrs has no incentive on making the situation around vehicle thefts seem more catastrophic than it really is...I mean...it's not as if he works for a company that profits from creating fear in this area.....

...oh wait....
Ah OK...cracked it.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulat...appendixtables

In the latest spreadsheet on Table A1 you can see on row 49 it lists the vehicle thefts. Row 51 specifically looks at thefts of vehicles. This indicates the numbers from the freedom of information act of around 62,000 from 13/14, to 80,000 in 15/16. Indeed a 30% increase. However, this increase was not statistically significant, i.e there is no certainty that this increase is not just due to random variation in the data. This can be seen by the fact that the incident rate (adjusted for number of households) was 3 per 1,000 in 13/14, and remained 3 per 1,000 in 15/16 (Table A2).

Incidentally, the number was 59,000 in 16/17....so last year has seen the lowest number of vehicle thefts since 1981, where on average only 2 households for every 1,000 in England and Wales would have suffered from a vehicle theft between 2016 and 2017.

Of course there are not many headlines about that...but newspapers have no time to understand natural variation in data, statistical significance and the wider context when it has newspapers to sell and the need to increase internet traffic to increase revenue from web ads...

Last edited by DrEskimo; 08-02-2018 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 08-02-2018, 01:12 PM   #5
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Ah OK...cracked it.
You have too much time on your hands DrEskimo!

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Old 08-02-2018, 01:16 PM   #6
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You have too much time on your hands DrEskimo!

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Haha I could of told you that

I'm a statistician and hate mis-interpretation of numbers....pet peeve of mine!
Obviously being a member of car forums this topic comes up a lot and I've been meaning to look at it in detail for a while now.
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:53 PM   #7
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Lies, damned lies and erm something or the other.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:31 PM   #8
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Lies, damned lies and erm something or the other.
The data isn't lying...the data did show a 30% increase!

The conclusion made by papers and Tracker companies that car thefts are soaring and we all need to panic and buy car theft products is the disingenuous bit.

Rather naturally I've always taken objection to that phrase, as it suggests that statistics aren't ever useful and are always misleading. On the contrary they are extremely useful in just about every walk of life!

It's the inappropriate use of statistics that's the issue! To quote another phrase, "they used statistics in much the same way as a drunk uses a lamp-post; for support rather than illumination...".
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:02 PM   #9
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Thought that would elicit a response you stats peeps are sensitive souls. I'm always impressed with the work of our statistician in the lab. It's impossible to make sense of vast collections of data without her. Where my own observations and gut feeling were not in agreement with the data I was invariably wrong...... Most perplexing.
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:15 PM   #10
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Thought that would elicit a response you stats peeps are sensitive souls. I'm always impressed with the work of our statistician in the lab. It's impossible to make sense of vast collections of data without her. Where my own observations and gut feeling were not in agreement with the data I was invariably wrong...... Most perplexing.
Ha!

I knew you were fishing and was all too happy to oblige

Absolutely! You think lab technicians are hard to argue against you should try consultant doctors...! They are convinced that I just ‘make data up’ most of the time..

What’s your field Ducky? Off topic I know, but I’ll post a graph later tonight to show how misleading this statistic is without the context of previous years
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