Tough action planned against carjackers

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The Independent Online

Carjackers face tougher jail sentences under radical plans to combat a rash of violent car thefts. In a special debate in the House of Commons next week, Tom Watson, MP for Bromwich East and member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, will demand that insurers honour claims even if the victim's keys are in the ignition at the time of the attack.

In February, the Metropolitan Police revealed there had been around 300 carjacks over the past 12 months. The majority had been opportunistic; however, around 90 to 100 cases involved people being pulled out of cars, sometimes at gunpoint.

Mr Watson said although there are around 1,200 car crime offences a year, carjacking is not recorded as a specific offence. "I want tougher penalties for these criminals," he said, "and for the Government to enter into a dialogue with the insurance companies so insult is not added to injury when victims try to make a claim."