The RHA is calling on the government to give greater importance to lorry cargo thefts, which currently fall under the same category as the theft of a pair of sunglasses from a motor vehicle.

In a letter sent today (10 May) to Kit Malthouse, minister of state for crime and policing, Rod McKenzie, RHA MD of policy and public affairs, warned that theft from HGVs is a “significant and growing problem” which incurs substantial losses.

He pointed to data from the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) which shows that in the first two months of 2021 alone, there were 443 thefts valued at £9.4m, an average loss of over £21,000 per incident.

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McKenzie warned the minister that this was “just the tip of the iceberg” since many thefts go unreported due to the time taken to report them and the perception that these crimes are low on the list of police priorities.

He added: “The current categorisation of lorry load theft means that these crimes are in the same category as the theft of a pair of sunglasses from a motor vehicle. Clearly, this is inappropriate and lorry load theft merits its own classification. Without this, organised crime groups will continue to view lorry load theft as an easy option, being low risk and with little chance of being detected.”

McKenzie called for more deterrents to be put in place to cut lorry cargo thefts. He said: “Dedicated lorry load theft designation would encourage road freight operators to report these crimes. It would help to separate out opportunist and organised crime elements and clearly identify police areas where the problem is greatest and allow resources to be allocated appropriately.”

He called on the minister to arrange a meeting with RHA “to discuss this growing concern with a view to finding a practical solution”.