The 1990's and the start of the 21st century has seen an explosion in criminal activity of stealing cargoes from vehicles, either parked at various locations- service stations, hauliers yards, side of road, or by hi-jack whilst in transit. This latter activity frequently involves the use of arms, either pistols, shotguns, iron bars or gas.
Initially target cargoes were tobacco, wines and spirits and consumer electrical goods such as TV sets.
During the mid 90's criminals commenced stealing electronic goods, memory chips, lap top computers, and progressed to mobile phones, DVD players and fashion goods.
Such has been the ease with which goods can be stolen and disposed of, that almost any item that can be readily sold either in UK or abroad is now a target. Clothing of all types and values, power tools, foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, toys, even aluminium and non ferrous metals that can be easily smelted are items that are regularly stolen.
Geographic areas that have proved to be the most popular with the criminal community include within UK:
Area around Heathrow airport
M4 corridor from Heathrow to Swindon
A13 from London to Tilbury
West Midlands conurbations.
Dover and area around entrance to Channel Tunnel
(Source - National Stolen Lorry Load Desk/Essex Police, ACE claims stats)
In Europe problem areas include
Ostend and service areas around city
Paris ring road
Area between Schipol, Brussels and Luxemborg airports.
Crossing points between Spain and France
Italy on a line south of Rome.
Crossing points between Poland and Belrussia
Bulgaria, main highways
(Sources European Council of Ministers, ACE Stats)
Within UK, statistics on Lorry Load theft and theft from warehouses are co-ordinated by TruckPol which is managed by the Metropolitian Police. This unit has is funded by the Home Office and the Freight and Insurance Industries.
ACE European Group are proud of its sponsorship of TruckPol and its predecessor, the National Stolen Lorry Load Desk managed by Essex Police. Futher information on the work of TruckPol can be obtained by clicking on the logo at top of page.
ACE are also network members of Eurowatch and engage in a two way flow of information on criminal activity.
EUROWATCH is a 24-hour police access service that addresses escalating crime against vehicles throughout Europe. It helps drivers and owners access police when in foreign countries.
- 24-hour access to police across Europe
- A single telephone number to call
- All national languages spoken
- Communication with any GPS system
- Relay of tracking data to police in real-time
- Assistance in dealing with police post-incident
For further information on the Eurowatch network please click on logo below
To assist cargo owners in the prevention of theft of their cargo whilst in road transit, ACE European Group have issued a number of guidance pamphlets which can be downloaded from links below. It should be noted that advice contained within these pamphlets is generic and that further advice should be sought from Insurers Risk Management Departments, Security experts and local Police if cargo is high value or theft attractive.
Protecting trucks and cargo from theft No 1