A significant number of incidents of vandalism are conducted by women, with almost 1.5million women admitting to deliberately damaging a vehicle, Direct Line has found, urging it to protect car insurance no claims discounts in cases of vandalism.
Figures released by Direct Line in its Vandalism Report reinforces recent headlines about the 50 per cent rise in females aged 11-17 who are involved in offences such as slashing tyres, breaking off car parts, smashing windows and scratching paintwork.
This demographic now accounts for almost 60,000 offences each year within the last five years, with incidents including deliberately damaging public property or a third party's belongings with such acts as graffiti and tampering with road signs or traffic cones.
The recent increase in females committing acts of vandalism can be put down to boredom and alcohol, according to the research. The report found that 23 per cent were driven to vandalism by a lack of anything better to do, and one in 10 said that their actions were fuelled by intoxication.
The majority of these female criminals said that their behaviour was acted out on the spur of the moment, while eight per cent said that their peers pressured them into committing the crimes.
"Our UK Vandalism Report suggests the number of female car vandals appears to be part of an overall escalation in the number of car vandalism incidents." said Jennifer Culley, spokesperson for Direct Line car insurance
. "The number of motorists who have been victims of car vandalism has risen to nearly a third (30 per cent) of all car owners nationwide, up from one-in-ten (11 per cent) two years ago. The growing trend of ‘girl gang' culture does seem to be responsible for a significant percentage of car vandalism crimes.
In response to the increase in car vandalism, Direct Line became the first insurer to maintain its customers' no claims bonus in cases of vandalism. As the credit crunch infringes on household incomes, Ms Culley said, it is good to know the actions of vandals will not affect the car insurance
premiums of those affected.
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