May 20, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter
Auto theft statistics from 2002 show the crime is on the rise in B.C., says that province’s public insurer.
The Insurance Corp. of B.C. (ICBC) says auto theft was up 7% last year, with 23,670 vehicles reported stolen. On top of a 17% increase in 2001, in the past two years, auto theft has risen about 25%.
“The numbers we’re seeing are unacceptably high,” says ICBC president and CEO Nick Geer. “We will not stand idly by and simply pass rising costs on to our customers.”
ICBC is involved in several programs with police, including the recently launched “Bait Car Pilot Project” in Vancouver, where bait cars are left in high-crime areas equipped with special tracking systems and cameras. Also, a permanent auto theft unit, Integrated Municipal Auto Crime Team (IMPACT), has been created.
Hardest hit was Kamloops with a 85% rise in theft, while Victoria experienced the greatest drop at 22%.
On a brighter note, reported auto vandalism was down 27% in 2002, and vehicle break-ins dropped 12%, although some of this drop may be reduced reporting due to a rise in minimum deductibles on basic auto insurance.
As a result of these declines, total auto crime incidents and costs were down in 2002. Auto crime incidents dropped by 19,297 to 112,327 and costs dropped by $8.5 million to $158.5 million.