VEHICLE thefts in and around Evesham and Pershore dropped this year due to the impact of coronavirus.

According to police data from UK CrimeStats, collected by the Economic Policy Centre, there were 166 vehicle thefts between January and May in Mid-Worcestershire with a sharp drop during lockdown.

The last five months of 2019 show there were 233 thefts in the constituency.

Across the region, West Mercia Police was ranked 21st of 43 police forces for vehicle crimes between August 2019 and July 2020.

West Mercia also had the 12th lowest crime rate in that time, ranking favourably among police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The full monthly breakdown for 2020 is as follows:

January - 45

February - 53

March - 35

April - 18

May - 15

For the last five months of 2019 the breakdown is as follows:

August - 48

September - 43

October - 61

November - 38

December - 43

Greg Wilson, of Quote Zone, said: "It’s not surprising that the rate of vehicle crime fell in April and May, given lockdown measures and the reduced number of cars on the road.

"However, the scale of the fall in vehicle theft was incredibly dramatic, perhaps suggesting that some of that community spirit we witnessed with the ‘clap for carers’ initiative has helped foster a sense of community-mindedness more broadly.

"Whatever the cause let’s hope this particular change is here to stay."