§ Mr. McNamara
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cars have been stolen in the past two years for which figures are available; and what steps he is taking to reduce the incidence of car theft. 
§ Mr. Denham
During the year 1999–2000 there were 374,686 recorded thefts and attempted thefts of motor vehicles in England and Wales and 338,796 during 2000–01. The information available does not distinguish between cars and other motor vehicles.
The Vehicle Crime Reduction Action Team (VCRAT) was set up in September 1998 to develop and oversee the implementation of initiatives to meet the Government's target to reduce vehicle crime by 30 per cent. over five years. They published their proposals for achieving the target on 22 September 1999.
The main proposals include improved security on new and used cars; improved car park security; better policing and community responses which target prolific offenders and crime hotspots; and new procedures at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. The Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 took forward VCRAT recommendations for regulation of the motor salvage industry and controls on the supply of vehicle number plates and we expect to implement these provisions progressively between August 2002 and April 2003.