‘Car crime’ as theft of and from a vehicle
DOI link for ‘Car crime’ as theft of and from a vehicle
‘Car crime’ as theft of and from a vehicle book
When ‘car crime’ in whatever context is discussed by politicians, the media, criminologists or the public, the traditional understanding is of ‘car theft’. Though the text takes issue with this narrow definition of car crime as noted in Chapter 1, there is no doubting the importance and scale of the vehicle-theft problem. Three main subtypes of ‘car crime’ are recorded in the Criminal Statistics in England and Wales: theft of the contents and external parts of a vehicle, which includes cars and commercial vehicles; taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent for temporary use; and theft of a vehicle for permanent deprivation. Together these categories constitute almost one fifth of officially recorded and self-reported crimes, and vehicle crime is the largest single category of recorded crime. The estimated cost of vehicle theft to the nation now tops £3.5 billion annually (e.g. Home Office 2000e: para. 4), and one survey estimated that proceeds from professional vehicle theft if legal would rank fifth in the earnings of the world’s top companies (The Times, 17.02.97).