Manchester revealed as UK car crime hotspot

car-crimeManchester has been exposed as the car crime capital of England and Wales in a new survey which showcases the hotspots in the UK.

The study by consumer motoring website used police data obtained via Freedom of Information requests to pinpoint car crime down to locations. The crimes covered include theft of a motor vehicle, theft from a motor vehicle, criminal damage or interfering with a motor vehicle.

Manchester was highlighted as the worst city in the UK for car crime, with 505 incidents per 10,000 vehicles. The M2 postcode, which covers Manchester city centre, was revealed as the worst postcode with almost one in three cars (3,180 per 10,000 vehicles) affected by crime.

The census found that Bradford came in as the second-worst, with 457 offences per 10,000 vehicles, ahead of London in third with 443 per 10,000. The North dominated the top spots in the crime stats, as Leeds and Sheffield came fourth and fifth respectively.

Daniel Harrison, editor of, said: “This data is the first of its kind because it’s based on the actual police force records from across the UK. What it highlights is a shocking north-south divide, with London representing the only southern district listed in the top 10.”

The census found that theft from a vehicle was the most common crime, accounting for 41 per cent of all offences, followed by criminal damage (39 per cent) and theft of a car (16 per cent).

Outer suburbs have a significantly smaller crime rate compared to city centres, with the researchers claiming the rates can drop by as much as 50 per cent a few miles outside the city centre.

Harrison added: “The worst areas for car crime are, predictably, city centres where there are pubs, bars and restaurants.

“As with many cities, vehicles left in on-street parking zones tend to be more vulnerable to being broken into and suffering criminal damage.”

Worst cities (number of offences per 10,000 vehicles)

Manchester: 505

Bradford: 457

London: 443

Leeds: 420

Sheffield: 389

Newcastle: 318

Birmingham: 313

Liverpool: 287

Cardiff: 285

Bristol: 255

Worst postcodes (number of offences per 10,000 vehicles)

M2         3180

L1            2193

BD1        2137

B4           1800

LS2         1738

M1         1651

M4         1536

S1           1492

LS3         1245

EC2         1228

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