Vehicle crime including thefts and break-ins across the UK have fallen to a 20-year low, according to a Home Office report.

The report shows that vehicle crime has been reduced by 80% since 1993, despite the roads being populated by more than eight million vehicles.

Statistics show that there are approximately three vehicle thefts and 10 vehicle break-ins for every 1,000 vehicles on the road, significantly less than 20 thefts and 40 break-ins in 1993.

The reason behind the drop has been accredited by the Home Office to the rise of anti-theft devices such as steering locks and electronic immobilisers, Despite being introduced in the 1960s and 1980s respectively, these devices have came on strong in recent years alongside other crime deterrent technology.

Number plate recognition cameras, CCTV surveillance and vehicle trackers have all done their bit to crack down on vehicle crime, however, Superintendent Paul Keasey of West Midlands Police, head of the UK's Central Motorway Police Group warns about the national issue of keyless vehicle theft.

This is theft that involves motor vehicles being stolen without use of the owner's key, and an increased number of electronically controlled vehicles are being taken by organised criminals exploiting the technology.

Preventing theft of keyless entry cars isn't the only issue facing these car owners, as some insurers can even charge higher insurance premiums, or not offer cover at all.

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From prestige cars to vans, any vehicle with a keyless entry system installed are suspect to risk of theft. Owners of vehicles using an electronic key should take steps to ensure that they are protecting their vehicle.

This can be done by parking your vehicle in an open, well-lit and secure area where possible, in a garage if you have one, or in view of CCTV cameras.

Ensure that all windows, the sunroof and boot are shut and locked when leaving your vehicle unattended, fit an alarm or immobiliser, use a steering wheel lock and/or gearstick lock, and consider fitting a tracker, so that if your car is stolen there is a greater chance of finding it.

Other ways to prevent theft is to use a plastic cover over the car's diagnostic box or using a locking device on the car's pedals.

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