Fleet News

Police call for business funds to wage war against car crime

POLICE have called on leasing and daily rental businesses to fund the fight to stem a rising tide of crime focused on the contract hire and rental industry. Cars are becoming harder to steal by 'traditional' methods, such as breaking in and 'hot-wiring' a vehicle and instead thieves are resorting to using false documents or violence to obtain keys.

Detective Inspector Mike Barron, of Merseyside Police's Stolen Vehicle Squad, told Driving Forward conference delegates that restrictions on police resources had to be recognised. He said: 'In an perfect world where everything is fully funded you should get the sort of service we are proposing for nothing. We are not in a perfect world - it is cash limited. Proposals from the police should be treated like any of the thousands of other business plans you assess.'

In return for investment in one area, the police returns would be massive, he said. A £97,929 investment by the Finance and Leasing Association in Operation Pimpernel to fund it for 12 months from August 1997, with a further £130,000 being spent in February 1998 resulted in more than 118 vehicles which were worth £1 million at their current trade value being recovered.

DI Barron said: 'It is our view that British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association members can achieve significant commercial benefits by engaging into partnerships with the police.' He added that it was in everyone's interests to exert the maximum possible pressure on organised criminals.

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