Mapping four years of carjackings in Northern Ireland

This map illustrates the number of vehicle hijacking offences in Northern Ireland by town or city recorded by the police between 2010-2014. Click on the markers to display information for each area. This data was obtained by The Detail through a Freedom of Information request sent to the PSNI. Note that figures for 2014 are provisional.

An analysis of 650 carjacking crimes reported to the police over the last four years has revealed Belfast as the major hotspot.

The Detail has mapped the location and other details of hijackings and attempted hijackings from January 2010 to Decemeber 2014.

The new figures show that 60% of the incidents took place in Belfast.

The individual road with the highest number of hijackings in Northern Ireland was the Falls Road in West Belfast. It had 11 hijackings and 6 attempted hijackings over the four year period.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) define car hijackings, also known as carjackings, as stealing a vehicle with the use or threat of force immediately before doing so.

In Derry there were 41 carjackings and 28 attempted hijackings, with 13 vehicles burnt out. The Strand Road and Westland Street were the most common locations for hijacking incidents with four each.

Craigavon had 22 carjackings and 11 attempted hijackings, with eight vehicles burnt out.

In Belfast 23 vehicles were burnt out after being hijacked.

Some of the incidents were recorded as attempted hijackings but over half of all incidents across Northern Ireland were described by police as “substantive” and in many cases the vehicles were involved in a crime or found burnt out.

Commenting on the figures Area Commander for West Belfast, Chief Inspector Anthony McNally said: “Tackling hijacking across Northern Ireland - but in particular West Belfast, which has historically been a problem area for this crime type - remains an important issue for the PSNI.

"Prolific offenders, and in particular those that get involved in car crime, have been identified and are being monitored through the Reducing Offending in Partnership Unit which has been operational across Belfast for over two years now."

The police data shows that between 2010 and 2014:

  • 361 of the incidents resulted in the car being stolen
  • 297 of the incidents were attempted hijackings
  • 65 vehicles were burnt out
  • 72 vehicles were recovered
  • 145 of the vehicles were involved in a crime or an offence
  • 390 arrests of 342 individuals

Chief Inspector McNally said that since November last year police in Belfast have been rolling out 'Operation Galleas' which focuses on car crime and hijckings in the city.

He said: “This latest operation is an indication of the PSNI’s commitment to allocating resource to keeping people safe. The fact that car crime in the West Belfast area continues to be an issue year after year, reaffirms that a multi-agency, early intervention process is required which focuses on those vulnerable to this type of offending behaviour.

“A rehabilitative process for those already involved is also required to effectively manage this long term, cyclical and generational problem, and this is something we are keen to continue to work with partners and the community to develop."

The data was provided to The Detail through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to the PSNI.