We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Insurers call for more action to tackle keyless car theft

The insurance industry has called for car manufacturers and owners to do more to prevent keyless vehicle theft, following another rise in incidents.

Figures released by a major insurance firm revealed claims relating to car thefts have risen by 20% in every year from 2016 to 2019.

LV= General Insurance also revealed that car theft claims that have resulted from a property being broken into to gain the keys cost an average of £15,000.

The industry called on manufacturers and owners to do more to make cars less easy for thieves to target.

Heather Smith, managing director at LV= General Insurance, said: “Car technology continues to advance, but unfortunately so do the methods criminals use to steal them.

 “The police can only do so much, so it’s vital that drivers do everything they can to protect their vehicle, especially those driving a luxury or prestige car that is likely to attract attention.”

There are a significant number of vehicles that are at risk.

German General Automobile Club (ADAC) and Thatcham Research, which both test vehicle security, have both revealed more than 230 new vehicle models are vulnerable to this form of theft.

All modern car security systems work by repeatedly generating an alarm code. It works using the same principles as those used by the Code Breakers of World War II. When a fob is activated, the receiver accepts the code and deactivates the security devices. The code is changed each time the receiver is activated.

But the rise of keyless entry systems has created a new opportunity for tech-savvy crooks to gain entry to a vehicle in as little as 20 seconds.

One of the techniques is known as relay theft because the car thieves work in pairs. One criminal will hold an amplification device next to the wall of a home to connect with the signal from the keyless fob. The amplifier then relays the signal to the accomplice, who is holding another device against the car door.

This delivers the code to the receiver which thinks the owner’s fob is nearby and unlocks the vehicle.

Other devices include jammers which throw out multiple signals to block the fob transmission and cloning units which crack the receiver code.

With owners unable to keep up with the thieves, the Consumers’ Association has been lobbying manufacturers for more than a year to take action, with a limited response.

The Association of British Insurers has also already called for manufacturers to take action. But groups representing the industry have not responded.

“The continued growth in car crime must be reversed. Car security has come on leaps and bounds but needs to keep pace with the ingenuity of car criminals. The rising number of theft claims being paid by insurers in part reflects the vulnerability of some cars to keyless relay theft,” it said.

“Action by motor manufacturers to tackle this high-tech vulnerability, allied with owners taking some simple, inexpensive precautions will help put the brakes on this unwelcome trend.”

The Association of British Insurers advises to beat the crooks:

Leave a Comment
In Other News
PCC calls on car firms to give buyers steering locks
Car thieves gaining from global parts shortage figures show
PCC warns car manufacturers on targeted vehicle theft
Rare metal price rise leads to spike in car crime
Mobile speed detection key to cutting road deaths, say experts
Police and crime commissioners to lobby for tougher speeding fines
More News