REVEALED: Worst places in Dundee for vehicle thefts

Linlathen is one of the vehicle crime hotspots

A Tele investigation has revealed the worst places in Dundee for car thefts.

Figures provided to the Tele reveal that built-up residential areas such as Craigiebank, Fairmuir, Logie, Douglas and Charleston saw more vehicles stolen than elsewhere in the city.

Other hotspots in the last three years include the Hilltown, Linlathen, Whitfield, Stobswell and Mid Craigie.

A total of 348 motor vehicle thefts were logged by Police Scotland in Dundee between April 2015 and September 2017, broken down into 35 separate police beat areas across the city.

The top 10 worst-hit beat areas accounted for more car thefts than the other 25 put together.

Craigie was the worst-hit area, with 27 thefts recorded in two-and-a-half years, followed by the area covering Fairmuir and Sherbrook on opposing sides of the Kingsway.

The downtown Dundee area, stretching from the Waterfront up to the Nethergate, saw the fewest number of cars stolen, with just a single theft in two and a half years.

However, car thefts are in long-term decline across the city, with the recorded number of vehicle crimes dropping by nearly a fifth between 2015/16 and 2016/17.

And there are precautions locals can take to reduce the chance of having their car stolen, according to Mark Godfrey, insurance director at the RAC.

He said: “Drivers can take certain steps to reduce the likelihood of their vehicle being stolen.

“For example, parking in well-lit areas, not leaving anything valuable on view inside and, of course, never leaving the keys in the ignition when they’re not in the car.”

Mr Godfrey added that thieves are becoming more adept at defeating electronic anti-theft systems such as immobilisers — but there are other measures drivers can take to deter criminals.

He said: “Anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks, which were popular in the 1980s and early 1990s, are starting to make a comeback as they are still a very effective visible deterrent.

“This is quite ironic as they were replaced a number of years ago by alarms and immobilisers, which until now, offered better theft prevention.

“Telematics – or black box – technology is another potentially useful weapon in the fight against the theft of cars. We have seen several instances where we have been able to track stolen vehicles using RAC Telematics devices and have even helped the police recover vehicles successfully.”

Official advice from Police Scotland states that theft is particularly rife at this time of year.

A spokesman for force said: “Never leave your car unattended to defrost windows with the keys in the ignition.

“Many car thieves actively target this — even first thing in the morning when darkness can provide cover.

“Any insurance claim could be adversely affected as it may be considered driver negligence.

“It’s also an offence to leave a car unattended on a road with the engine running.”