Sevenoaks Station car parks top the list for vehicle thefts according to data from British Transport Police
SEVENOAKS is top of the list when it comes to vehicle thefts from station car parks according to figures produced by the car selling comparison website Motorway.co.uk
The company made a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the British Transport Police and the data revealed that the 10 worst stations were in commuter towns all within one hour of London.
The number of vehicles stolen from railway station car parks has almost trebled in four years and more than a third of the thefts were scooters, mopeds or motorbikes.
In the year from 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, there were 14 thefts from Sevenoaks Station car parks according to the figures from the British Transport Police. Seven vehicles were also stolen from Hildenborough Station during the same period.
Overall, 414 vehicles were stolen from train station car parks between April 2018 and March 2019, compared with just 138 thefts between April 2014 and March 2015.
The most popular vehicle brands targeted by thieves were: Honda (67), Ford (47), Yamaha (46), Piaggio (32), Land Rover (18), Vespa (17), BMW (15), Range Rover (12) and Audi (11).
Network Rail owns and operates the railway infrastructure in England, Scotland and Wales including 20 of the largest stations. The other train stations, of which there are more than 2,500, are managed by the train operating companies.
Alex Buttle, director of Motorway.co.uk, said: “These figures make depressing reading for commuters who split their journey into work across road and train. The rise in railways station thefts has been turbo-charged by the growth in popularity of scooters and mopeds, which are an easy target for thieves.
“Although most, if not all, stations car parks will have CCTV cameras, that doesn’t mean your vehicle won’t be targeted. Seasoned criminals know how to quickly gain access to cars, and many aren’t bothered by on-site security.
“Motorbikes, mopeds and scooters are particularly vulnerable, so ensure you have multiple security measures in place; such as wheel locks and clamps plus heavy-duty chain link or brake disc locks to make your vehicle less appealing to opportunistic criminals.”
* The British Transport Police have been approached for a comment.
The following table shows which UK train stations have recorded the highest number of vehicle thefts between the start of April 2018 and end of March 2019.
|Railway station||County||Fastest Time/Distance to London||Number of vehicle thefts during 12 months – April 18 to March 19|
|Sevenoaks||Kent||32 mins/21 miles||14|
|Brighton||Sussex||52 mins/47 miles||10|
|Ebbsfleet International||Kent||18 mins/20 miles||8|
|Haslemere||Surrey||48 mins/39 miles||8|
|Godalming||Surrey||43 mins/31 miles||7|
|Hildenborough||Kent||27 mins/25 miles||7|
|Beaconsfield||Buckinghamshire||20 mins/22 miles||6|
|Cambridge||Cambridgeshire||47 mins/47 miles||5|
|Farnborough||Hampshire||34 mins/31 miles||5|
|Harlow Town||Essex||29 mins/20 miles||5|