cargo theft

Recorded cargo crimes in the UK fell for the third consecutive quarter this year but remain 58% higher than the corresponding period of last year, according to the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA).

TAPA’s latest quarterly report on cargo theft reveals that the number of freight crimes in the UK in Q3 2017 was 323, 14.3% lower than the 369 in the quarter before. It was also 22.5% fewer than the 417 reported in Q1.

Despite the reduction quarter on quarter, thefts in the three months to 30 September remain 58% ahead of the third quarter of 2017.

TAPA said the fall in UK cargo theft in 2017 could be linked to increasing police patrols at cargo theft hotspots.

“Liaison between regional police forces, transport industry representatives and Motorway Service Area (MSA) operators in the UK, as well as increased law enforcement agency patrols, are likely to have contributed to the quarter-on-quarter fall in recorded crimes at these locations.

“In Q2 2017, TAPA recorded 160 freight loss incidents or criminal attacks on trucks parked at MSA sites but in Q3, this figure reduced by 33.1% to 107,” it said.

However attacks on trucks at UK MSAs remain widespread, the report warns, with crimes reported at 26 separate MSAs along the UK’s motorways and main A-roads in Q3 2017.

Thefts from trucks during rest breaks at UK MSAs amounted to more than €2.2m (£1.94m) in the period, whilst the total loss for the 264 cargo thefts, reported with a value to TAPA in the period, is estimated at €10.4m (£9.2m)

Nearly 70% of all incidents in Q3 2017 involved ‘curtain cutting’ with 224 or 69.3% of incidents using this modus operandi, with a high percentage of the remaining crimes involving lock cutting and forcing open of the rear doors of trucks, the report found.

Thefts from Motorway Service Areas in Q3 2017

  • Birchanger Green Services, M11 – 31 incidents
  • Hartshead Moor, M62 – 10 incidents
  • Birch Services, M62 - nine incidents
  • South Mimms, M25 – eight incidents
  • Leicester Forest East, M1 – six incidents
  • Toddington Services, M1- six incidents
  • Blyth Services, A1(M) - six incidents
  • Thurrock Service, M25 - five incidents
  • Trowell Services, M1- four incidents

Most valuable cargo stolen in Q3 2017

  • €282,616 – Theft of Computers and laptops from Toddington Services
  • €105,447 – Clothing and footwear stolen at Markfield Services on the M1 in Leicestershire
  • €99,728 –Car parts stolen at Toddington Services
  • €98,531 – Theft of consignment of tyres at South Mimms Services
  • €88,323 – Cargo of handbags and rucksacks stolen at Toddington Services
  • €70,937 – electrical products stolen at Toddington Services

Hotspots for cargo thefts

  • M20 from the ports of Dover and Folkstone and around Maidstone and Ashford in Kent
  • A2 around Rochester in Kent and Grays, Essex
  • M11, particularly around Bishop’s Stortford
  • A1 between Grantham and Doncaster
  • M1 - clusters of criminal activity in Luton, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Northampton, Kettering, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Chesterfield
  • M62 around Manchester, Rochdale and Halifax