October 10, 2023

Survey finds majority of Canadians feel unsafe in their communities as the auto theft crisis continues to accelerate in the first half of 2023

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Study finds more than 80% of Canadians say they are concerned about community safety due to the auto theft crisis, while the number of stolen vehicles continues to increase after historic highs in 2022

TORONTO – October 10, 2023 /CNW/ – Équité Association has released its First Half of 2023 Auto Theft Trend Report and it is clear that Canada’s auto theft crisis is getting worse. Furthermore, according to a recent survey, the continued rise in auto theft is having a significant impact on Canadians’ sense of safety.

The survey, which was conducted among members of the Angus Reid forum in September 2023, found that:

  • 84% of Canadians say the rise in auto theft makes them concerned about the increase in crime in their community
  • 69% say the rise in auto theft makes them concerned about their personal safety and/or the safety of their family
  • 65% say that government, auto manufacturers, law enforcement and the courts need to work together to fix this issue

“Canadians are feeling vulnerable,” said Terri O’Brien, President & CEO of Équité Association. “The majority of Canadians are clearly worried about how this alarming increase in auto theft will impact the crime rate in their communities, and they are especially concerned for their personal safety and the safety of their families.”

Équité Association’s First Half of 2023 Auto Theft Trend Report found that:

  • Provinces with the highest auto theft continue to be Ontario and Quebec
         - Auto theft in Ontario increased by 31% year-over-year in the first half of 2023
         - Auto theft in Quebec increased by 17% year-over-year in the first half of 2023
  • The national vehicle recovery rate is 57%
         - The lowest provincial recovery rates are in Ontario (46%) and Quebec (38%)

The lower recovery rates Ontario and Quebec indicate that stolen vehicles from those provinces are either:

  • Being shipped overseas, mostly through the Port of Montreal; or
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN) is being changed in order to resell the vehicle domestically to unsuspecting Canadians.

“Canadians expect to see a collaborative approach to combatting this crisis,” said Bryan Gast, VP of Investigative Services at Équité Association.  “Équité is committed to continuing its work with Public Safety and CBSA, as well as our partners in law enforcement across Canada who are working diligently to fix this problem,” said Gast.

“There is however more that can be done to address the auto theft crisis in the short-term. Prioritizing stolen vehicles at our ports is one immediate solution, as is deepening the partnership and information sharing between Public Safety, CBSA and Équité Association. This problem won’t be fixed in isolation. It requires government, law enforcement, auto manufacturers and the insurance industry to work together to help protect Canadians,” said Gast.

Équité Association is a member of the Criminal Intelligence Services Canada, and a trusted partner of law enforcement across the country. Équité Association also has teams of expert vehicle identifiers across the country that identify stolen vehicles in partnership with CBSA and law enforcement.

Équité Association’s First Half of 2023 Auto Theft Trend Report is now available online.


About the Survey

An online survey among members of the Angus Reid Forum was commissioned by Équité Association and Insurance Bureau of Canada, from September 12 to September 18, 2023, with a representative sample of 2,503 Canadian adults (aged 18+). The survey results were balanced and weighted on age, gender, region and education according to the latest census data. For comparison purposes only, a sample of this size would yield a margin of error of +/- 1.8 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

About Équité Association

Équité Association is a not-for-profit, national organization, supporting Canadian property and casualty (P&C) insurers. Équité combats the insurance crime problem that exploits vulnerable Canadians through advanced analytics, intelligence best practices, and coordinated investigations. Delivering improved service and fraud analytics for vehicle, property, and cargo recovery to its members, Équité collaborates with law enforcement, partners and industry organizations to protect Canadians against exploitation.

For further information, contact Jordan Kerbel, Director, Media Relations, Équité Association, media@equiteco.ca.

Learn more about Équité Association at https://www.equiteassociation.com/.