The theft of motorised vehicles, which includes mobility scooters, has tripled in the last three years, according to one police force.
That is the trend seen by West Midlands Police in its constabulary, which has seen 25 scooters reported stolen in the last three years.
A Freedom of Information act requested by a local newspaper revealed the figures, which show more than 5,000 motorised vehicles were stolen in the area in the last three years, with 2,000 of those thefts reported in the last year.
The news comes as UK crime reaches a ten-year high and the number of mobility scooters stolen sees a general increase across the country. In 2015 517 scooters were reported stolen in the UK and it is estimated that the total worth of uncoverable scooters a year is £615,000. Only around 22% of stolen mobility scooters are returned to their owners.
Recently, a new industry registration initiative, described as the DVLA for mobility scooters, was launched to combat the prevalence of mobility scooter thefts in the UK.
The National Mobility Registration Scheme (NMR) has been set up by the BHTA in partnership with Shopmobility and police forces around the country and will serve as a database for vehicle registration.
In addition to the scheme, a mobility dealer in Dartford recently developed a new key fob product which is designed to replace traditional mobility scooter keys and key barrels with the aim of reducing scooter thefts.
Neil Medhurst, owner of Gold Star Mobility, hopes that his new system, which he will be launching and selling to other retailers in October, will combat both intentional and ‘accidental’ scooter thefts, where people mistakenly drive off with the wrong scooter because of the current universal key system in place across most scooter brands.