RHA calls for increased police support in recording of freight crime

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has called on Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) for support on key security issues affecting the haulage industry, including the recording of freight crime.

The RHA represents 7,000 haulage firms and has written to all 41 of the newly-elected PCCs outlining four key categories of transport security threat it hopes to see supported in forthcoming policing plans.

It claims that crime against and involving road haulage and distribution is a serious issue locally and nationally and major issues include attacks on trucks, trucks used as part of crime, attacks on drivers and the potential for vehicles to be used in acts of terrorism.

The RHA estimates the direct cost of crime to the industry is at least £1 billion but is critical there are currently no accurate figures due to the lack of adequate processes for reporting crime.

Chrys Rampley, secretary of the RHA Security Forum, said the information has become “very patchy” since the anti-truck crime initiative Truckpol closed in March 2012 due to a shortfall in funding.

She told SecurityNewsDesk the way crime is recorded or not recorded is the “biggest issue” affecting the haulage industry at this point in time, ahead of economic and safety factors.

“We have got a number of forces reporting in but not all so we are working hard on trying to get more forces to report to a single point of contact,” said Rampley.

“Hence why we are writing to the Police and Crime Commissioners, because business crime is on their agenda and we want to make sure that freight crime does feature as part of it.”

The RHA has called for freight crime to be recorded as a separate crime to other vehicle crime – either through itself or the impending resurrection of Truckpol – and for the appointment of a single point of contact within each Force for freight crime.

In addition, it is working with the National Business Crime Intelligence Bureau to ensure a common standard of reporting and investigation that it wants PCCs to implement, together with a sharing of intelligence and information – which can be done either through the RHA or Truckpol.

Finally, the RHA wants an increased provision of secure parking throughout the country to help protect drivers from the threat of attack.

Ms Rampley is optimistic that PCCs will take freight crime into consideration as part of their policing plans, which are due to be confirmed at the end of March.

“Because so many of the PCCs that come in don’t know anything about our industry we wanted to highlight the issues we are having. As business crime is on their agenda it’s a case of saying ‘we’re here’,” she added.

“We have had good response from the PCCs we have written to, we have already had encouraging response and several have already written it into their policing plan.”

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