With the increase in car theft and its connection to chopshops and illegal dismantlers, a task force to tackle this increasing issue was created and earlier in the year, the Policing Minister, Nick Hurd, chaired the vehicle theft taskforce.
The purpose of this new taskforce was to replicate the model used to reduce moped-related crime in London, which fell by a third in the period from January to October 2018 compared with the same period in 2017 last year. It will drive forward action to reduce and prevent vehicle crime and promote best practice. It is understood that all those involved will work together in order to assist police in tackling vehicle theft and it is of course, vital to acknowledge that vehicle dismantlers play an important role in helping to prevent illegal activity.
It is expected that the taskforce will meet every 6 months and publish an action plan with new measures. Vehicle theft has risen by 7% in the last 12 months and has impacted communities across the country.
At the time of the meeting and chairing, Policing Minister Nick Hurd said:
“We are determined to take swift and decisive action on emerging crime threats. With rates of vehicle theft increasing, I am keen to ensure everything is being done to prevent these crimes.
“Drawing together the police, industry and government proved to be a successful way to see what more could be done to support police efforts to tackle moped crime and I’m eager to see the results of applying a similar model to vehicle theft.
“The determination and common purpose at this morning’s meeting was encouraging and I’m confident the taskforce will significantly strengthen our response to vehicle theft.”
The taskforce’s work includes:
- improving vehicle security standards across the industry
- ensuring robust measures are in place to prevent criminals exploiting the motor salvage process
- reviewing whether further measures are required to stop devices that may be used to commit vehicle theft falling into criminals’ hands
Attendees at the event included representatives from:
- National Police Chiefs’ Council
- Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Limited
- Thatcham Research
- Retail Motor Industry
- Motorcycle Industry Association
- Association of British Insurers
- Combined Industries Theft Solution
- Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime
- West Midlands PCC
- West Midlands Police
When concentrating on the vehicle dismantling industry regarding the taskforce, a spokesperson from the Home Office said:
“Making stolen goods harder to sell on is a key part of making all forms of acquisitive crime less attractive to thieves. That is why we are exploring what more can be done to tackle the markets for stolen goods.
“As part of this, we have been working with the police, retailers, trade associations, insurers and others to understand better the buying and selling ‘journey’ for a range of goods.
“Vehicle dismantlers have an important role to play in helping to ensure robust measures are in place to prevent criminals exploiting the motor salvage process in order to sell on stolen parts. Salvage is one of the key themes being considered by our new Vehicle Theft Taskforce.”
We also wanted to get a viewpoint from one of the representatives at the meeting, so we got in touch with West Midlands Police Chief Superintendent Chris Todd, who said:
“The vehicle dismantling sector can play a vital role in helping the police combat vehicle theft and associated ‘chop shops’. They have a unique insight into the market and the ability to identify illegal dismantlers who risk undermining the economy of their legitimate industry.
“It’s in everyone’s best interests to expose and shut down operators who are supplying a market for car thieves and unfairly tarnishing the reputation of the wider dismantling industry…the vast majority of whom are legitimate, reputable businesses. Law-abiding operators have been very supportive in sharing information and I would urge them to continue backing our campaign by passing information on suspected rogue dismantlers to the police so we can take action.”
This is a major problem which affects all parts of society and dismantlers have an important role to play in preventing illegal activity occurring through running a legitimate business and by using their abilities in recognising stolen vehicles and/or parts.
ATF Professional will endeavour to keep our readers abreast of the situation as we hear more. If you would like to comment on the topic or would like to see us cover a subject which our dismantlers need to know, please contact us at email@example.com
Original source found here: www.gov.uk