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Police data suggests only 1% of CAT thefts solved

The Freedom of Information (FOI) request put in by the Liberal Democrats found that only 1% of CAT thefts have resulted in someone being charged.


Police data suggests only 1% of CAT thefts solved p

Of the 20 police forces in England and Wales, where full information was provided, 50,223 CAT thefts were reported in the five-year period (2017-2021), with only 548 suspects being charged. This did not include figures from some of the UK’s largest police areas, including West Midlands Police and Greater Manchester Police.

According to a report on the BBC, ‘in the 20 force areas surveyed, the number of thefts surged from 742 reported in 2017 to 19,451 in 2020, before falling in 2021 – the first full year of the COVID pandemic – to 15,780.

The highest number of thefts from 2017-2021 – 36,586 – occurred in London. Just 544 were solved.’

The Liberal Democrats have now called for more to be done to crack down on the problem, including more visible community policing to deter thieves.

Richmond Park MP, and Lib Dem Treasury spokesperson, Sarah Olney said:

“There is a catalytic converter theft epidemic across many parts of the country, but far too often the gangs responsible are getting away with it.

At the very least, people should be able to expect that if something is stolen from their vehicle it will be properly investigated.”

Victims were “not just massively inconvenienced but often left out of pocket and hit by higher insurance costs”, she added.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

“We recognise the impact that theft can have on victims, and we want offenders charged and brought to justice in the courts.

Since the National Infrastructure Crime Reduction Partnership was set up in 2020, there has been significant success in tackling metal theft through co-ordinated national action against scrap metal dealers – including a marked increase in enforcement action from police and partner agencies.”

During two weeks of national action to tackle catalytic converter and other metal theft, 64 arrests were made, and more than 1,000 converters and other stolen items were recovered,” the spokesperson added.



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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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