New data has revealed that hundreds of vehicle crimes occur in Chorleywood, Croxley and Rickmansworth every year, but less than twelve result in a criminal charge.
Information sent to CHORLEYWOODnews through an FOI request to Hertfordshire Constabulary reveals that over two hundred offences occur every year, with data going back to 2017.
Despite this, very little of these criminal acts result in a charge being brought against someone. In 2021, 243 vehicle-related crimes took place, but only four charges were issued.
The year with the most number of charges was also the year with the largest number of offences: 2018, which had 315 incidents occur and 11 charges. The year with the least number of incidents, 232, had no recorded convictions the entire year.
The vehicle-related crime most common in Three Rivers over the last five years has been theft from a motor vehicle, with 773 incidents being recorded by police. This is followed by the offence of interfering with a motor vehicle, which has been reported 235 times over the same time span, and then theft of a motor vehicle, which has occurred 210 times.
The least reported offence is attempted theft from a motor vehicle, which has only been reported twice over the last five years.
When contacted for comment, Hertfordshire Constabulary Detective Inspector Stewart Moulding said:
“Vehicle crime has reduced in the Three Rivers area over the last year, compared to the previous 12 months. Theft from a motor vehicle offences reduced from 274 to 245 offences and theft of a motor vehicle offences have reduced from 122 to 119 offences.
“Vehicle crime is a very broad term which includes a wide range of offences, from interference with a vehicle – which could be someone simply trying a door handle – to the theft of number plates, items within the vehicle, or stealing a vehicle outright.
“The whole country has been affected by several crime spikes over the last few years, with thieves targeting catalytic converters especially for the precious metals they contain. In response, the constabulary launched Operation Feline which offers drivers free security marking for their vehicle’s catalytic converters.
“Keyless entry vehicles have also been targeted by criminals who use technology to bypass the security systems. Operation Remote has recently been launched to raise awareness of this crime and give owners the information that will help them to protect their vehicles.
“Vehicle crime is notoriously difficult to detect, and for Three Rivers in particular, the fact that Rickmansworth, Croxley Green and Chorleywood are so close to two M25 junctions and the Greater London border means our CSP is invariably targeted by cross-border Organised Crime Groups who operate overseas
“We know that they dismantle vehicle trackers and change the index plates almost immediately, making detection of stolen vehicles very challenging.
“We’re very proactive in terms of our crime prevention advice and regularly share messaging via our social media sites, Online Watch Link and poster campaigns.
“We also run regular Operation Insecure events which involves officers proactively trying car door handles to see if they are unlocked, and then speaking to those vehicle’s owners to give them crime prevention advice.”