A new cross-industry taskforce has been set up by policing minister Nick Hurd in a bid to tackle the rise in vehicle theft and car crime in the UK.
The group mirrors a similar one formed in London, which since its introduction has reduced moped-related crime by a third after it was agreed a bold approach should be taken.
The new force, previewed in a tweet Hurd posted last week, includes representation from the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Association of British Insurers, West Midlands Police, Thatcham Research, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and Combined Industry Theft Solutions.
The force has been set up in response to a sharp increase in car crime. Across the UK, rates have risen by 7 per cent in the last 12 months.
The group plans to improve standards of vehicle security across the industry, as well as tackle other issues which have increased dramatically over the last year. Back-street ‘chop shops’ are an example of this – with the West Midlands Police noting that its 100 per cent increase in vehicle theft could be put down to a network of illegal garages handling parts from stolen vehicles.
Keyless entry ‘relay’ thefts were also cited as a major risk and described as an ‘epidemic’ by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.
Chairing the meeting, Hurd said: “We are determined to take swift and decisive action on emerging crime threats. With rates of vehicle theft increasing, I am keen to ensure everything is being done to prevent these crimes.
“Drawing together the police, industry and government proved to be a successful way to see what more could be done to support police efforts to tackle moped crime and I’m eager to see the results of applying a similar model to vehicle theft.
“The determination and common purpose at this morning’s meeting was encouraging and I’m confident the taskforce will significantly strengthen our response to vehicle theft.”