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Pentagon goes for growth in bid to counter vehicle crime

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Despite major improvements in vehicle security, the level of unreported crime involving theft from vehicles could be costing companies more than £3 billion a year in repair bills, according to leading automotive glazing security company, Pentagon London, which has announced an ambitious growth strategy for 2011.

Pentagon London has announced an ambitious growth strategy for 2011. A target of ten new franchisees outside of the capital is at the top of Pentagon London’s list of objectives next year, in response to concerns within the fleet market over increasingly unreported ‘smash and grab’ vehicle crime and growing commitments in regard of minimising risk to employees under Corporate Social Responsibility obligations.

Figures from the British Crime Survey 2009/10 revealed that there were 850,000 incidents involving theft from a vehicle, almost all of which involved entry through a window. Whilst this showed a reduction of 18% against the previous survey in 2008/9, the statistics are based on a reporting rate of only 43%, suggesting that 57% of crime involving theft from vehicles actually goes unreported.

Industry research indicates that the average repair cost as a result of a break-in is approximately £300. Based on a perceived true total of 1.9 million instances of theft from a vehicle, with two thirds of drivers running a company car, the repair bill footed by UK businesses could be as high as £3billion. This figure does not take into account the value of items lost, which companies may also seek to recoup from their insurance provider.

Martin Westney, managing director, Pentagon London explains: “In a relatively short space of time, our business has begun to move in a new direction as companies look at methods of reducing their exposure to unforeseen costs as a result of vehicle crime, as well as responding to CSR legislation. Whilst car manufacturers are pushing the envelope in terms of vehicle construction, unprotected windows remain vulnerable to attack, which is where Pentagon offers an elegant and cost-effective solution that’s proven to provide a deterrent to opportunist crime, as well as significantly improved occupant protection in the event of a collision.”

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