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Revealed: Worst place in Northern Ireland for car thefts - 259 stolen in two years

By Donna Deeney

Published 18/11/2016

Stolen, torched, abandoned: the remains of a burnt-out vehicle in Londonderry
Stolen, torched, abandoned: the remains of a burnt-out vehicle in Londonderry
Galliagh SDLP councillor Brian Tierney

Drivers living in the city side of Londonderry are at the highest risk of having their car stolen in Northern Ireland, new figures show.

Between the start of 2014 and August 31 this year, a total of 259 cars were stolen from homes with a BT48 postcode - the highest in Northern Ireland.

With 4,613 car thefts, Northern Ireland is at number 11 in the UK vehicle crime league.

Car thefts from addresses with a postcode BT12, which covers west Belfast, were marginally lower than Derry's city side, with a total of 251 thefts.

High up on the charts too - with 169 cars stolen - was the Newry and Mourne area covered by the BT35 postcode.

At the opposite end of the scale, not one car was stolen in the BT76 area, which covers Clogher in Co Tyrone.

Only two drivers living in the BT68 area of Dungannon and South Tyrone had their cars stolen during the period covered by the statistics.

The figures were provided by police forces across the UK and obtained by esure car insurance under the Freedom of Information Act.

Sandra Doherty was among the victims from the BT48 hotspot in Derry who fell foul of car thieves.

She said: "It is the most sickening feeling you could ever imagine, to open your front door and discover your car has beenstolen.

"It wasn't as if I had a top-of-the-range car or a fast sports car or if it was a modern car, but it was my car and I had worked hard to earn the money to buy it.

"It angers me that these wee lowlifes can break into your house, steal your car keys and then leave you feeling totally violated."

Galliagh SDLP councillor Brian Tierney expressed disappointment over the figures for Derry.

He said: "There are a number of issues at the core of this, not least among them is the culture among young people who think they can get away with stealing someone's car.

"All too often cars are taken by joyriders and later burned out.

"That is obviously a huge loss for the owner of the vehicle, but the reality is all drivers in the BT48 area are paying the price for the actions of these people.

"It is well documented that drivers in the city side pay a higher premium for car insurance than drivers living elsewhere, even across the river in the Waterside."

The Waterside is in the BT47 postcode area, which stretches into rural areas of Claudy, Drumahoe and Eglinton.

Figures for this area show that 145 cars were stolen from January 2014 to July this year.

Belfast Telegraph

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