High percentage of car thieves avoid going to jail

Most receive a non-custodial sentence after being convicted of car theft

According to official figures, a high percentage of car thieves in the UK avoid going to jail, with most receiving a non-custodial sentence after being convicted of car theft and the average fine is just £198.

After analysing the official crime statistics, it’s been revealed that the majority of offenders prosecuted for car theft are handed a non-custodial sentence.

Between 2012 and 2016, there was a total of 7,405 prosecutions for theft of a motor vehicle, of which 3,696 resulted in convictions with sentences handed down.

Just 20% of all prosecutions for theft of a motor vehicle resulting in a custodial sentence, which means that when a car thief is convicted they’re more than likely going to be spared a jail sentence.

The average length of a jail term for those convicted of car theft was 21 months, whilst those who were spared a custodial sentence were given a fine averaging £198.

The force with the highest number of charges for vehicle theft within the five year period was London’s Metropolitan Police – 1,490 cases ended up in court and represent one-fifth of all car theft crimes prosecuted nationally.

Churchill carried out the analysis of the official Government statistics, who also discovered a sharp rise in the number of car thefts by under 18s – juvenile convictions had increased by 52% within the five-year timeframe.

The car insurance company also found that just less than 380,000 cars were reported as being stolen between 2012 and 2016.

“As well as being a harrowing experience, having your car stolen can be a huge inconvenience, with many people reliant on their cars on a daily basis. It is, therefore, concerning that so few custodial sentences are handed down for vehicle theft,” said Steve Barrett, head of car insurance at Churchill.

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