BURNLEY is in the top 20 worst places for vehicle crime in the country according to figures.

Vehicle vandalism affects around four in every 1,000 people in the UK on average but new statistics from a Freedom of Information Act request by MoneySupermarket show between April 2017 and March 2018 there were 6.39 people per 1,000 had been victims of the crime.

The research looked at more than 232,000 offences that had been reported to major insurance providers and over 300 Police Force Areas across the UK in the period while at the same time only 26 per cent of victims chose to report the incident to their insurer.

Leader of Burnley Council Charlie Briggs was shocked by the news.

“I am not happy as I am against anti-social behaviour and that is the case here.

“I just hope the people that are doing it get caught and it gets sorted.

“I would say bigger fines or punishments across the country as a whole are needed.

“I think we need to be more vigilant to watch out for people acting suspiciously and speak to police.”

The next worst area in East Lancashire was Hyndburn with 5.36 incidents, followed by Blackburn with Darwen (5.01), Pendle (3.97) and Rossendale (3.65).

Criminal damage to a vehicle is damage to a vehicle that was intentionally caused by someone or something – but not caused by another vehicle and can include someone using a sharp object to damage the side of your car.

Meanwhile, flying the flag as the safest areas in the Lancashire include fifth-placed Ribble Valley with 2.62 offences per 1,000 people and then Chorley who are a place below with 3.47.

Sgt Paul Harrison of Chorley Police, said: “It is really re-assuring to know that we are doing the right things.

“We have been targetting certain areas and we review the crime stats on a daily basis to see if we need to create patrols in the area.

“We are also introducing a new task force across Chorley and South Ribble which will respond vehicle crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.

“We hope it means that officers will be able to pick up the bigger issues in the community.”

The study also explored claims data provided by AXA showing how the rates of criminal damage can be impacted by the type of car in question and found certain makes and colours of cars statistically fare better than others.

German cars make-up three of the top four car manufacturers for vehicles targeted - Mercedes, BMW and Audi.

However, Seat and Citroen owners escape with the fewest cases of vandalism, with Seat vehicles being over three times less likely to be vandalised than Mercedes.

Green and black vehicles were more likely to be targeted, with 1.5 and 1.4 cases reported per 1,000 respectively. White vehicles rank third of ‘most likely to be vandalised’ with 1.3 reported cases.

Blue is the safest colour, with one case of vandalism – the lowest rate reported. Silver and red follow closely behind, with 1.1 cases per 1,000 policies each.

Rachel Wait, consumer affairs spokesperson at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Only one in four victims of vandalism decide to report the incident to their insurance company, possibly due to concerns about losing their no-claims discount. However, some insurance providers protect a driver’s no-claims bonus for cases of vandalism, so it’s worth double checking your policy as you may be protected without realising.

“A comprehensive car insurance policy is likely to cover you for these offences, as opposed to a third-party policy. Be sure to shop around for the best deal online and look out for vandalism cover in your policy for peace of mind. ”

To find out more about the worst and safest areas across the country visit: https://www.moneysupermarket.com/car-insurance/vandalism-hotspots/