The number of catalytic converter thefts solved is around just one percent of the total, according to a FOI request.
The request was lodged by the Liberal Democrats and of the 20 police forces in England and Wales, where full information was provided, 50,223 CAT thefts were reported in the five-year period (2017-2021), with only 548 suspects being charged. Several major police forces were excluded because data was not available. These included the Metropolitan Police and Greater Manchester Police.
“There is a catalytic converter theft epidemic across many parts of the country, but far too often the gangs responsible are getting away with it”, said Richmond MP Sarah Olney. “At the very least, people should be able to expect that if something is stolen from their vehicle it will be properly investigated.”
Victims were “not just massively inconvenienced but often left out of pocket and hit by higher insurance costs”, she added.