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For the purpose of this section I am using the British Crime Survey (BCS) - Crime in England and Wales 2010/2011 record of vehicle crimes, whcih are recorded in three categories:
Theft of vehicle
This is where the vehicle is driven away illegally, whether or not it is recovered. The survey only records offences for private vehicles and company cars, not goods vehicles.
This is a bit different from how the police record the crimes. For police records, it is only when the vehicle is not subsequently recovered within a certain time period that it is recorded as a theft. Otherwise it is classified as ‘taking without consent’.
If the vehicle has been taken during the course of a robbery, i.e. where force or the threat of force has been used prior to the taking, the offence is recorded as a robbery, rather than a vehicle crime. This type of offence is often referred to in the media as a ‘car-jacking’.
Theft from vehicle
This refers to thefts from inside the vehicle, such as a handbag and thefts from the vehicle itself, such as a spare wheel or a windscreen wiper blade.
Attempted theft of and from vehicles
Because the BCS cannot tell what the thief’s intention was at the time of the offence the survey makes no distinction between the two. This classification will also include damage to vehicles (not caused by road traffic accidents)
The police record vehicle crime within rather different categories, but in order to get to the prevention part quicker this information will eventually be available in Legal information