NEW RESEARCH says that Gloucestershire is among the safest places to leave your car unattended in the UK.

Researchers from Howden Insurance analysed the number of car crimes reported in each county over the last year, using data, and scaled this to per 1,000 registered vehicles, to identify the safest counties for car owners. 

They ranked Gloucestershire in eighth place on the top ten list for safest places to leave your car unattended, with 1.50 car thefts per 1,000 registered vehicles. 

For comparison, Gwent was ranked in the number one spot with 0.66 vehicle thefts per 1,000 registered vehicles - 66% below the national average of 1.94.

The researchers also looked at which counties are most proactive with vehicle security, based on Google searches for popular security devices made over the last year.   

Terms analysed included dash cam, wheel clamp, car theft deterrent, how to prevent car theft, driveway security and home CCTV.

Searches were scaled against local populations to get a monthly interest rate per 100k residents. 

Of that data, they ranked Gloucestershire ninth for most proactive counties for vehicle security. 

Speaking on the findings, an insurance expert from Howden Insurance said: “With Easter half term approaching it’s crucial that car owners consider the security of their vehicles when going away. 

Whether owners leave cars unattended at their homes or use them to travel to their holiday destination, valuables must never be left inside.  

“The popularity of dash cams is interesting; with the constant rise in licensed drivers on the roads, it’s encouraging to see drivers document their journeys for safety and insurance purposes. 

Make sure that you’re also parking in a secure location if leaving your car unattended for an extended period – especially if you’re situated in a country where car crime is prevalent.”

Gloucestershire Constabulary said: “it’s advisory to avoid parking in dark and secluded areas. It’s worth an extra five or ten-minute walk if it means your vehicle is left in a well-lit and busier street.

And if possible, always try to park in illuminated and staffed car parks, or those with a Park Mark Safer award.”