Only 41% are recovered, and the loss of assets alone runs into £152 million a year, according to figures in a recent Home Office report. Van drivers are three times more at risk of having their vehicle stolen than drivers of any other type of commercial vehicle.
Crimestoppers director Digby Carter said: 'That's just the tip of the iceberg. The Home Office report does not take into account the immediate and longer term effects of loss of livelihood, failure to meet customer orders, cutback in business growth and increased insurance premiums. The true figure could run into hundreds of millions of pounds.'
The charity's Stop Motorcrime and Ring Today (SMART) initiative has Vauxhall as its main sponsor. The scheme aims to encourage people to report suspicious activities anonymously to Crimestoppers via a freephone number, 0800 555 111.