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Our Autoglass crime report was fair

SIR – I write in response to last week’s letter from the Home Office Minister Hazel Blears regarding the 11th annual Autoglass Car Crime study.
In our report, we made quite clear that Government figures do show a fall in the number of vehicle crimes. The issue we aim to highlight is that the cost of car crime attacks is soaring because complacent motorists are leaving richer pickings for thieves.
We welcome the Minister’s interest in our report and applaud the achievements of the police and the Government in reducing vehicle crime in the UK.
Autoglass has championed the fight against vehicle crime since 1984.
Our mobile fitting technicians are often the first point of help for victims and will assist with over 700 victims every day – many of whom do not report the attack to the police or to their insurers.
Our Cracking Car Crime campaign sees us work with insurers, companies and professional crime prevention bodies to share best practice and, often with local police, we run over 300 days of Cracking Car Crime events around the country to make motorists aware of how they can reduce their chances of becoming a victim.
At a time when the UK’s motorists are being told that the number of vehicle crimes is falling, we believe it is crucial to also warn them against complacency and to remind motorists that, for the ruthless smash-and-grab thief, every vehicle on the road is a potential target.
Autoglass continues to support the Government’s and the police’s work in the ongoing battle against car crime and, in sharing our findings, we hope we can help the effort to keep bringing the numbers of these crimes down.

NIGEL DOGGETT
Managing director
Autoglass

Greedy old Gordon is cashing in yet again

SIR – I have always maintained that, if the Government were to abolish the Vehicle Excise Licence (VEL), and further increase tax on fuel to make up for this, it would institute some sort of annual registration fee which it could then increase annually until it reached the level of the former VEL.
Well, guess what – the Government’s done it, but hasn’t even got rid of the VEL.
Greedy Gordon and his Grabby Gang are using the motor industry and motorists as their private cash cow. Why do they need an annual registration fee in addition to what they already get for each VEL?
What further information do they require which is not already available from the V5 or the VEL renewal?
This is just another example of this Government and its anti-motoring outlook (as long as you’re not Two-Jags) and its increasing stealth taxes.

ALISTAIR WHITE
Vehicle Workshop Manager
Eastleigh Borough Council

SIR – The extra charge the DVLA is planning is just another tax by stealth plan to discourage motorists (Industry criticises DVLA charge plan, Fleet News, November 11). The existing motoring taxes are far too expensive already and making Britain uncompetitive with other countries.
When will this Government learn that the more they charge for vehicles on the road the more the cost of goods, sales, etc cost?
This country is fast becoming uncompetitive already and it won’t be long before we go the same way as Germany after their boost years.
The money taken from the motorist and the industry is obviously not going back into the road systems, so Gordon Brown’s ideas to pay the MPs and Euro MPs bigger pensions and expenses will be financed. We as a country are the soft touch of Europe, with immigrants flocking to have a piece of the cake and unless we start sticking up for ourselves, we will be led by the hand to financial meltdown.
The French are excellent at demonstrating against any changes they don’t like with road and ferry blocks etc, but we Brits just carry on moaning and do nothing about it.
I suggest that all motoring organisations, fleet industry leaders, motorists and individuals all write their MPs to show our total dissatisfaction at any more stealth charges.

LES TASKER Auto Keys (Nationwide)

Statistics reflect nonchalance only
SIR – Ms Blears demonstrates the touching confidence that some politicians have in official statistics (Fleet News letters, November 18).
Car crime figures fall when violations are no longer reported, because the police don’t want to know.

REG DIXON
Consultant
Niftylift

Annual checks mean no charges

SIR – Last week I read an article in Fleet News about duty of care and how we should be routinely checking documents such as service records etc for owner drivers.

As a company, we check all licences as a matter of course at least annually so the introduction of a 10-year photo ID will not in fact incur additional costs to us and any other responsible organisations.

TOM YEOMANS
Information and Fleet Controller
Three Valleys Housing

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