Cargo crime to increase as economic downturn continues

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Cargo crime is set to increase as a direct result of the recession, according to the Transported Asset Protection Association.
The latest statistics from association’s Incident Information Service for Europe, the Middle East and Africa show 3,756 reported incidents of cargo crime during 2008, creating a total loss value of more than £152.2 million (170.6 m euros). However, incident data is still being collated so this figure is expected to grow.
Some 72 per cent of the crime reports came from the UK, representing 2,720 incidents. Spain and Germany were the second and third highest reporting crime areas, with 254 and 207 reported thefts respectively.
Just over ten per cent of crimes reported across the 32 countries were classified by TAPA as major incidents.
The number of vehicle thefts nearly doubled to 2,067 in 2008, with the majority of incidents taking place in non-secured parking areas in the UK, Germany and France.
Although the number of thefts from vehicles was down by 20 per cent compared to the previous year.
Gilad Solnik, IIS Lead for TAPA EMEA, said: “Organised criminals targeting high value products moving in supply chains remain the greatest threat but businesses also need to be more alert to the risk of opportunist thefts from ad hoc and first-time criminals.
“We know from previous recessions that crime increases. UK government statistics, for example, reported a 19 per cent increase in violent crime during the recession of the early 1990s. We expect 2009 to be one of the toughest years of the last decade in terms of cargo crime statistics.”
Consumer electronics, food and beverage, metal and clothing and footwear were among the most frequently stolen products in 2008, and there were 1,775 incidents of truck theft reported involving empty vehicles.
However, there was a 47.4 per cent decrease in the number of vehicle hijackings, which TAPA said could be attributed to the additional training companies are giving to drivers.
TAPA has associations in EMEA, Asia and The Americas and has a global membership of more than 500 companies.

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