The number of times people are reported stolen cars in Australia is at its highest level in 20 years, with more than 4,200 vehicles reported stolen across the country.
The number peaked at 5,500 in 2015 and has been on a steady decline ever since.
The ABS figures are based on a review of vehicle reports made by police and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and shows the number of stolen vehicles is up significantly since 2011.
The biggest driver for the increase is the rise in vehicles being stolen by gangs, which have become more common in recent years, according to the ABS.
This means that the number is likely to increase further as new vehicles are added to the database.
The main driver of the increase has been the rise of gangs, with an increase in the number reported as stolen since 2011 and an increase of 3 per cent in the overall rate of reported theft since 2011, the ABS said.
The increase in reported thefts has been driven by the growth of carjackings.
In 2016, there were 5,826 reported carjackers, an increase from 4,927 in 2015.
That year there were about 3,600 reported carjacking incidents, up from 2,928 in 2015, according the ABS figures.
The rise in carjackments is likely due to the rise and popularity of carjacked vehicles in Victoria and other major cities, where the number has grown by nearly 10 per cent, according ACCC data.
More and more Australians are reporting stolen cars because they are afraid to report them, the ACCC said.
More than half of people who reported a stolen vehicle were under the age of 18.
“The increasing number of car thefts is contributing to the increasing levels of stress and anxiety Australians are feeling about their car and the fact that there is no way to check if it is actually theirs,” ACCC Acting Chair Michelle Wood said.
The ACCC has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the problem. “
As we have seen, the growing number of reported car thefts has led to a huge increase in anxiety around the issue of car theft and how it can affect people.”
The ACCC has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the problem.
“We have been working hard to raise public awareness and provide resources to people who may have been the victim of a stolen car and we are happy to say that the numbers have fallen dramatically,” ACCP Acting Chair Sarah Smith said.
Ms Smith said the ABS is also encouraging people to call the police if they see a vehicle they think is stolen.
Ms Wood said the ACCP is also working with local councils to encourage them to get involved in preventing and detecting carjackages.
“They are working with councils to make sure the community is aware of this issue,” Ms Smith told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“I think we have been very supportive of the local authorities work to help get the message out and to encourage people to report any stolen vehicles they think might be involved in a crime.”