A change in police policy on investigating criminal incidents could make trucks operating in the capital a more attractive target for thieves, according to the Road Haulage Association.
Crimes which result in the damage or theft of property worth under £50 are not likely to be considered serious enough to warrant in-depth attention from the Metropolitan Police Service, the Times reports. This action is being taken to deal with ongoing cuts in funding and a lack of manpower available to the authorities in London.
RHA representatives argue that trucks are likely to fall victim to crime which comes into this category, meaning that even if owners and operators report theft and vandalism, they will not necessarily receive assistance.
Association spokesperson Richard Burnett called this change problematic and said that HGVs were already being subjected to increased levels of criminal interference as a result of activity both domestically and on the continent.
He also said that trucks when trucks were broken into and stolen from, plenty of people simply assume that multinational organisations will be able to absorb the costs without suffering any major loss. The reality is that small and large operators alike are not able to shrug this off, and there needs to be a change in perceptions to avoid the situation worsening.
Another area in which industry insiders believe the government could do more is that of the provision of parking for HGVs which is safe, secure and protected from the most common types of crime that are on the rise at the moment. The RHA argues that without increased investment of public funds, the number of thefts will increase and many of these incidents will simply not be investigated.
Burnett claimed that crooks would be emboldened by the news of minor crimes being de-prioritised by the Metropolitan Police Service, proving that even if they are caught in the act they will probably not have to face any repercussions.
Solutions to Consider
There are various solutions offered by truck manufacturers and third-party suppliers in order to boost truck security, whether for new models or for used HGVs for sale in the UK today. And as well as physical improvements which provide increased protection, such as higher-quality locks, there are more advanced systems on offer which are better suited to larger fleets.
For example, DAF Trucks is one of a number of firms that offers specific anti-theft features as part of its broader telematics platforms. This integrates location-based capabilities with alerts for unwanted movement, entry and other malicious actions.
This is not just about cutting down on crime and dissuading gangs from attempting theft in the first place, but also about managing the cost of insurance and aiding with recovery in the event that an entire HGV is stolen rather than merely having its cargo taken.
If the RHA predictions are correct and theft is set to become a greater obstacle for truck operators to overcome, acting to improve security now will put businesses in a better position.