Fleet News

Fleets urged to help in new battle against vehicle crime

MORE new cars should be fitted with deadlocks and laminated glass as standard as the Government bids to cut vehicle crime by 30% in the five years to March 31, 2004. A comprehensive report by the Home Office-appointed Vehicle Crime Reduction Action Team chaired by Ford fleet operations director Mike Wear says if the target is to be achieved, there must be 300,000 fewer offences committed.

Vehicle crime accounts for 25% of all recorded crime and costs more then £3 billion a year. The Home Office's most recent vehicle crime statistics show that in 1997/98, there were 1,096,022 offences, of which 695,498 were thefts from vehicles and 400,524 were thefts of vehicles. The report 'Tackling Vehicle Crime - A Five Year Strategy' reveals that older vehicles are more at risk. The fitting of immobilisers on new cars from about 1992, which became compulsory under European law from 1998, is seen as the major catalyst in thieves switching their attention away from newer company cars.

Statistics reveal there is a marked decline in the number of vehicles stolen registered from 1994 and while vehicle crime is the largest single category of recorded crime, it is at its lowest level since 1989. As a result, the report concentrates on new initiatives aimed at reducing the theft of older cars and thefts from those vehicles. The measures include possible legislation to compel motorists to fit immobilisers to older vehicles.

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