Page last updated at 01:10 GMT, Thursday, 15 October 2009 02:10 UK

UK's car crime hotspots revealed

Posed image of man breaking into car
Official figures suggest 1.5m vehicle crimes are committed each year

Car owners in parts of London, County Durham, Yorkshire and Manchester are most likely to have their vehicles stolen or broken into, a study says.

Chislehurst, south-east London, is the worst-hit postcode area, according to analysis of 3.8m insurance quotation requests by Moneysupermarket.

The comparison website said Wingate, Co Durham, was the second most badly hit, followed by Redbridge, east London.

Hatfield in Doncaster and Manchester city centre made up the top five.

Some 3.82% of motorists from Chislehurst, in the borough of Bromley, told the website they had claimed for theft of a car - or items from a vehicle - when making a claim in the 12 months to August 2009.

BR7 Chislehurst, south-east London
TS28 Wingate, Durham
IG4 Redbridge, east London
DN7 Hatfield, Doncaster
M3 Manchester city centre
BS29 Banwell, Somerset
BD1 Bradford city centre
S2 Arbourthorne, Sheffield
NP24 New Tredegar, Newport, south Wales
RM7 Romford centre, east London
IG9 Buckhurst Hill, Essex
IG8 Woodford Green, north London
M4 Ancoats, Manchester
CF34 Cathays, Cardiff
S13 Handsworth, Sheffield
LS15 Barwick In Elmet & Cross Gates, Leeds
NR23 Wells-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk
DN8 Thorne, Doncaster
RM11 Hornchurch, Essex
RM13 Rainham, east London

The company said that made them three times more likely to make an insurance claim than the UK average, which was 1.17%.

For each of the locations in the top 20, the figure was over 2.8%. Only postcode areas where at least 100 people had requested quotations were included.

A number of other areas to the north and east of London - including the centre of Romford, Buckhurst Hill, Woodford Green and Hornchurch - also featured highly in the list.

Among large urban areas badly affected were Cardiff, Sheffield and Leeds. motor insurance head Steve Sweeney said: "I am not surprised to see metropolitan areas of the country such as Manchester and Sheffield fall in the top 20 postcode areas.

"However, what the research does reveal is that a broad mix of places across the country are at risk, highlighting the issue that no matter where you live, there is always a chance you could become a victim of theft."

Home Office figures show nearly 1.5m vehicle-related thefts were recorded in the year to April 2008, amounting to 13% of all crime.

However, the government says that this figure represents a fall of two-thirds since car crime peaked in 1995.

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