VEHICLE thefts in the Thames Valley have risen by more than 80 per cent in the last four years, new figures show.

RAC Insurance has urged drivers to make their car a less easy target for opportunistic thieves, after ‘disturbing’ figures revealed vehicle thefts are on the rise in almost every corner of Great Britain.

Thames Valley Police dealt with 3,735 stolen vehicle reports in 2018-19, according to figures obtained by RAC Insurance – 86 per cent more than the 2,011 cases seen in ​2014-15.

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That was among the biggest increases recorded by any of the 41 police forces that responded to the Freedom of Information request.

Some 152,541 vehicles were stolen in 2018-19 across Great Britain, a rise of 56 per cent compared to 2014-15, with all but three police forces recording an increase in thefts over that four-year period.

RAC Insurance spokesman Simon Williams said: “These figures paint a rather disturbing picture. Vehicle thefts are on the rise almost everywhere, and in some parts of the country numbers are rocketing.”

The force that saw the biggest increase in terms of vehicle theft numbers was London’s Metropolitan Police, where the number of incidents increased by 9,635 to 30,773.

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Mr Williams said the increase was partly due to a rise in thefts of vehicles that are easier to steal, such as motorbikes and mopeds which are less likely to have immobilisers.

Government data shows that thieves use a key in nearly half of incidents, indicating that many drivers can do more to protect their vehicles.

Thames Valley Police says it has issued advice and guidance to help people protect their vehicles from theft and did not comment on whether the steep rise was concerning.

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A spokesperson said police urge people to store their car keys away from doors, use an RFID blocking pouch for keyless entry cars, use a steering lock and park strategically in a place that ‘restricts access from thieves’.

The force also issued advice like parking in well-lit areas with street lighting at night and places with CCTV – this will deter criminals.

If a crime is in progress call police on 999.

To report thefts and suspicious behaviour call police on 101.

More crime prevention advice is at