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Last Updated: Friday, 2 January, 2004, 06:08 GMT
Car crime falls but fear remains
Car crime
Car crime is not as prevalent as people imagine
Drivers still fear their vehicle being stolen or broken into despite a fall in car crime, a survey suggests.

More than 80% of drivers questioned by the RAC said they feared car crime, however the same number had no such experiences last year.

Motorists also said protection from crime was more important in a new car than comfort and performance.

The motoring organisation said it appeared "fear of crime is slightly disproportionate to the actual risk".

London fear

RAC spokesperson Nina Arnott said: "Our research reveals widespread concerns about car crime despite an actual reduction in the number of victims.

"This perhaps reflects the coverage of high profile crimes in the media and the increase of crime entertainment programmes."

The RAC's research also showed that geographical location affects perception of car crime.

Londoners are more likely to worry about carjacking and being attacked or robbed than motorists in any other region.

In addition, nearly half of all London motorists worry about having their car stolen when parked away from home, compared to just three in 10 for the rest of the UK.

Be vigilant

Despite being a relatively rare occurrence, 10% of motorists are concerned about carjacking, with women being more concerned than men.

Female motorists are also more likely to worry about violent car crime, with three in 10 fearing being attacked or robbed while in their car, compared with one in 10 male drivers.

The RAC said despite the fall in car crime there was "little room for complacency".

It urged drivers to lock their doors when driving, never leave their car unlocked and do not leave valuables visible.

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