CHESHIRE Police is aiming to get ahead of the game after seeing a rise in vehicle thefts in recent years.

New figures recorded by the force reveal that thefts across the county have risen by more than a third in four years.

From April 1 2014 to March 31 2015, Cheshire Police recorded 784 vehicle thefts, but this figure rose by 38 per cent to 1,084 during the same period between 2018 and 2019.

This trend is also mirrored across the UK, with 97,609 vehicle thefts being reported between April 1 2014 and March 31 2015.

This rose to 152,541 between 2018 and 2019 – a rise of 56 per cent – although comparable data was not provided by forces in Gloucestershire, Gwent and Norfolk.

Gareth Wrigley, national vehicle crime portfolio officer and chief inspector of Cheshire Police’s roads and crime unit, says that officers in Cheshire are working with manufacturers to make vehicles better protected from theft.

He said: “At Cheshire Police, we recognise the devastating impact that car thefts can have on victims and we are working tirelessly to reduce vehicle crime across the county.

“Here in Cheshire, we have seen a 38 per cent increase and work is ongoing to improve our intelligence led approach to vehicle crime and to promote important prevention messages to residents.

“While there is a lot that we can do, we are working with our government, policing, insurance and manufacturing partners to help make vehicles better protected from theft.

“This is down to the fact that with the rapid development of vehicle technology, cars are getting smarter, but so are the criminals who are exploiting weaknesses in electronic security in order to steal cars.

“We hope that by getting ahead of technology, improving our intelligence and promoting prevention messages, we will be making it harder for offenders to commit vehicle crime and protect the people of Cheshire from falling foul to these criminals.”