Nearly 10,000 vehicle crimes were recorded by Hampshire Constabulary last year, new data has revealed.

In research conducted by Click4Reg.co.uk, the southern force recorded the 11th highest number of vehicle crimes in 2016 at 9,253, with Lancashire Constabulary coming 10th by recording slightly more at 9,985.

The Metropolitan Police had the highest number, with 89,900 recorded vehicle crimes in 2016, followed by West Midlands Police with 29,106, Greater Manchester Police with 24,298, West Yorkshire with 24,275 and Thames Valley with 13,174.

Hot on the heels of Hampshire was Merseyside Police in 12th who recorded 9,083 vehicle crimes last year.

Vehicle crime is classified by police as “theft from or of a vehicle or interference with a vehicle”.

At the other end of the scale, the City of London Police had the lowest number of vehicle crimes, recording just 177 cases.

Just above City of London Police was Dyfed-Powys Police who recorded 1,103 cases of vehicle crime in 2016.

In total there were more than 350,000 recorded cases of vehicle crimes across 43 police forces/constabularies in the UK in 2016.

Just under half - 43% - of all vehicle-related theft occurs because drivers do not adequately lock their doors, says Click4Reg.co.uk.

And according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), 71% of all vehicle theft occurs during the week, while 43% occurs at night.

Ben Leonard, managing drector of Click4Reg.co.uk, said: “The figures are certainly fascinating. Vehicle crime is certainly more prevalent than anyone would expect.

"Whilst unfortunate, there are various effective actions that drivers can take to safeguard their vehicle from any potential crime.

"All drivers should aim to make simple steps such as locking doors and removing all valuable possessions when not in their vehicle a habit.

Click4Reg issued tips to reduce the risk of being a victim of vehicle crime:

Doors and windows - Make every effort to close all windows and fully lock the vehicle when leaving it at your own property, at work or elsewhere.

Valuable possessions - Remove all valuable possessions out of plain sight when not in the vehicle - especially money, wallets, purses and electronic items (including radio).

Parking - Always aim to park your vehicle in a well-lit area, as sufficient lighting will more than likely deter criminals and thieves from targeting your vehicle.

Planning - If you’re making journeys to unfamiliar locations and sites, plan ahead to avoid driving through, and parking in, any high crime areas.

Extra protection – A car alarm or steering wheel lock can go a long way in adding extra security for your vehicle.