Thames Valley Police recorded the fifth highest number of vehicle crimes across the UK last year, according to new research.

Data configured by Click4Reg.co.uk has revealed the force recorded more than 13,000 vehicle crimes in 2016, beaten only by the Metropolitan Police, West Midlands, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire Police.

The Met Police topped the table with 89,900 crimes recorded, a figure which dwarfed that recorded by the West Midlands Police who came second with 29,106.

Rounding off the top five, Greater Manchester Police recorded 24,298 and West Yorkshire 24,275 recorded vehicle crimes, which are classified as “theft from or of a vehicle or interference with a vehicle”.

At the other end of the scale the data revealed the City of London Police had the lowest number of vehicle crimes, recording just 177 cases.

Just above City of London Police was Dyfed-Powys Police who recorded 1,103 cases of vehicle crime in 2016.

Overall there were more than 350,000 recorded cases of vehicle crimes across 43 police forces/constabularies in the UK in 2016.

Just under half - 43% - of all vehicle-related theft occurs because drivers do not adequately lock their doors, says Click4Reg.co.uk.

And according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), 71% of all vehicle theft occurs during the week and night is a popular time for thieve to operate, with 43% occurring during this period.

Ben Leonard, managing drector of Click4Reg.co.uk, said: “The figures are certainly fascinating. Vehicle crime is certainly more prevalent than anyone would expect.

"Whilst unfortunate, there are various effective actions that drivers can take to safeguard their vehicle from any potential crime.

"All drivers should aim to make simple steps such as locking doors and removing all valuable possessions when not in their vehicle a habit.

Click4Reg have issued top tips to reduce the risk of being a victim of vehicle crime.

Doors and Windows - Make every effort to close all windows and fully lock the vehicle when leaving it at your own property, at work or elsewhere.

Valuable Possessions - Remove all valuable possessions out of plain sight when not in the vehicle - especially money, wallets, purses and electronic items (including radio).

Parking - Always aim to park your vehicle in a well-lit area, as sufficient lighting will more than likely deter criminals and thieves from targeting your vehicle.

Planning - If you’re making journeys to unfamiliar locations and sites, plan ahead to avoid driving through, and parking in any high crime areas.

Extra Protection – A car alarm or steering wheel lock can go a long way in adding extra security for your vehicle.