Chichester among areas worst affected by vehicle crime, study says

Sussex PoliceSussex Police
Sussex Police
Chichester is among the areas in the UK worst affected by vehicle crime according to a new report.

The report, published by The Guardian, reveals there were 55 vehicle crimes last year to September, and that 51 were closed without police officers identifying a suspect.

This is symptomatic of a broader issue, across Sussex, The Guardian report suggests, with1,668 offences in the year to March 2022 increasing to 2,319 in the year to March 2023, an increase of 39 per cent.

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Speaking to the newspaper, Detective Chief Inspector Karrie Bohanna, from Surrey and Sussex Operations Command, said: “We have seen criminals targeting keyless entry vehicles for theft and use in their criminality. In December 29 vehicles were stolen in this way across Sussex, and in November there were 36 incidents.

“We are aware of the impact this criminality has and our teams are working hard to disrupt criminal groups using our roads to steal these vehicles. Owners can also take the simple steps such as keeping key fobs in Faraday bags and using a steering wheel lock to help prevent crime.”

Communities like Midhurst and Petworth also affected. Sandra Moore, regional co-ordinator for Midhurst and district neighbourhood watch, told The Guardian: “In a rural area, we have crimes where people try pot luck, and will smash a vehicle’s window and put their hand in. They are gone in five seconds.

“We are concerned about increasing vehicle crime and we would like to see more done, but the police are very stretched and it’s difficult. We try and work with the police to provide people with advice on crime prevention.”