Hot new stats released from someone or other’s ‘home office’ this week reveal that it is more or less impossible to break into or steal a modern motor vehicle. Unless, that is, the vehicle in question happens to be ‘keyless’. In which case, it’s ridiculously easy.

The ‘home office’ figures show that vehicle theft and break-ins have come down by 80% since 1993 (that’s exactly 22 and a bit years ago today), even though there’s eight million more vehicles now that there was in them days.

Technically speaking, car crime has come down for a cocktail of reasons. Mostly, though, it’s because they’re properly built these days and they’ve got all kind of anti-thieving gadgets in them.

I mean, it’s not as if there aren’t still plenty of people who’d like to steal your motor, or nick stuff out of it, or otherwise abuse your vehicular property rights. It’s just a bit of a bother to actually do it nowadays.

Plus, even if you do get in, there’s stuff like number plate recognition, CCTV, and trackers and that, which means you’ll probably get nicked if you do make off with someone’s motor.

However… the faddish vogue for so-called keyless vehicles has taken all the technological advances of the past two decades and sort of come out the other side, to a place where any semi-proficient criminally inclined nerdlet can reprogramme their way into your motor, no problem.

West Mids Police Superintendent Ken Kesey has warned that keyless vehicle crime is a notional issue, although London, he revealed, is the worst. Speaking recently at the National Light Commercial Vehicle Workshop (NLCVW), Kesey warned that fleet owners had better watch out.

“All producers of vans are using it,” he warned (it being keyless-ness), “because it’s the new gimmick”. This basically means you could wake up one morning and discover that someone’s nabbed half your fleet – without so much as a single smashed side window.

Chilling, really, when you think about it.



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