Fleet News

Car crime - call for action

FLEET industry leaders have called for the Government to take steps to stamp out major areas of car crime after it published its Cutting Vehicle Crime Bill.

The Bill also includes controversial measures that could see the number of speed cameras in the UK double. Cash raised from speeding fines is to be ploughed back into more enforcement measures, under measures proposed by the Bill.

The main thrust of the Bill aims to strike at the heart of the car crime 'industry' by making it much more difficult for criminals to dispose of stolen vehicles. Measures will help prevent criminals passing off the identity of legitimate vehicles that have been seriously damaged or written-off to stolen vehicles - a practice known as ringing.

About 30,000 vehicles a year go through the 'ringing' process, but the Bill will introduce new powers to regulate businesses in the motor salvage industry.

The supply of number plates will also be regulated, because at present there are no entitlement checks when plates are supplied. Any vehicle that is written off will also have to undergo an identity check before the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency issues a registration document to the new owner.

Home Secretary Jack Straw said: 'The Government has set a target of cutting car crime by 30% by 2004. Car crime is already falling and this Bill should assist us in further reaching this target. We estimate that up to 78,000 vehicles a year have been used or broken up for parts. We estimate this will prevent 39,000 vehicle thefts and 6,000 insurance frauds each year.'

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