ORMSKIRK has been named in the top 10 postcode areas for car thefts.
The statistics were revealed following a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA by the national media.
The figures show the number of vehicles the police have recorded as stolen and on DVLA records by UK postcode area throughout 2020.
First is LE2, which is categorised as Leicester, with 342 car thefts, and in 10th place is L39, listed as Ormskirk with 177.
However police chiefs in West Lancashire have queried the figures and pointed out that a “significant portion of the L39 postcode area” goes into Merseyside.
West Lancashire Geographic Inspector, Danny Clough said the following on the statistics: “I have conducted research into the figures presented in the report.
“For the area’s within the L39 postcode our records show that between 01/01/2020-31/12/2020, we have 36 reports of vehicle taking and three reports of aggravated vehicle taking.
“This takes into consideration the whole of Ormskirk Central and Ormskirk Rural which probably includes some locations outside of L39 but are within our policing boundary.
“I widened the search parameters and found that in the whole of West Lancashire (theft of unauthorised vehicle taking and aggravated vehicle taking in 2020), incorporating Skelmersdale East, West and Rurals, the figure is significantly lower than what is being reported and is 124.
“There is a significant portion of the L39 postcode area that does in fact stretch into Merseyside which I am unable to comment on, but it is incorrect to list the data within the postcode as simply Ormskirk when they are not.”
In second place in the study was Slough, followed by Swindon, then Aldershot, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Stockport, Darlington, and Slough.
The most stolen car was Fiestas, then VW Golfs, Ford Focuses and Vauxhall Corsas.
In the UK, thieves take one car every seven minutes.
Insp Danny Clough wanted to give the following reassurance: “The West Lancashire policing teams work hard to ensure the safety and security of everybody covered by us, and we also collaborate with our neighbouring force areas of Merseyside, GMP and Cheshire to address cross border criminality having achieved some fantastic results in the last 12 months alone.
“I would like to take this opportunity to ask the residents and business owners of West Lancashire to remain vigilant. We are coming into the colder weather where some vehicles are left alone defrosting or have items on show within the vehicle. Please ensure that vehicles are never left alone unlocked or with keys inside and please place any items where they can’t be seen. This will prevent the vehicles being targeted by opportunist criminals or those specifically seeking such opportunities. Use additional security measures is possible and look out for one another within communities.
“Please report any suspicious activity to the police using 101 or 999 in an emergency. There is also online digital reporting, directly to your local officers or using Lancashire Talking to ensure we are aware and can take action.”