Car crime is still rampant in the UK, despite what the government tells us. So here’s a salutary tale from north London.

According to reports, there is a sophisticated gang roaming around the Hampstead area, seemingly equipped with devices that can crack central locking systems.

The local paper in the area, the excellent Ham & High, reports around half a dozen cases of cars being broken into even though the drivers are adamant that they locked their cars.

One resident reckons her Volvo has been broken into several times, and there are similar cases on a Ford and a couple of BMWs.

It’s not clear from the reports what age or spec the vehicles are, so whether they have deadlocks, for example. But I’d wager that in an affluent area like Hampstead these aren’t old bangers with minimal anti-theft.

The local plod is looking into it, although I doubt it has much of a priority.

Although this is a London-specific story, I bet drivers all over the country can read similar stories in their local papers.