The Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) has praised the proactive approach of British and Dutch law enforcement agencies in helping to support the supply chain resilience of major manufacturers and logistics services providers in Europe.

Cargo crime data recorded by TAPA EMEA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) in the first quarter of 2015 shows the UK and the Netherlands with the highest levels of reported incidents, accounting for over 67% of the 206 freight thefts or attempted thefts in the three months to the end of March.

The UK recorded 70 cargo crimes in IIS in Q1 2015, a 133% rise over the 30 incidents recorded in the same period of 2014. The Netherlands saw a 17% increase year-on-year with 69 incidents. The 206 new cargo crimes included 18 incidents with a loss value in excess of €100,000. Only 30.5% of recorded crimes in the quarter gave a loss value but the total for these thefts still exceeded €13,250,000, resulting in an average loss value for the quarter of €210,365. 

Thorsten Neumann, Chairman of TAPA EMEA, said: “We are well aware that the level of cargo crime in the EMEA region and, indeed, globally is massively under-reported. Whilst highlighting the UK and the Netherlands as hotspots for incidents, what this latest data for Q1 demonstrates more than anything is the growing importance our police partners in these countries are giving to tackling the problem of cargo crime. By collecting and sharing intelligence, they are setting an example we hope other law enforcement agencies in our region will follow.

“The UK and the Netherlands are certainly not the only countries under threat from organised cargo crime gangs. In Q1, TAPA EMEA gathered information on increasingly-violent crimes in 14 countries. The proactive data and intelligence sharing of the British and Dutch police is helping TAPA EMEA members to manage risk and operate more secure supply chains, which is a perfect example of the public-private partnerships we have been developing in the last 2-3 years. We are actively working with other policing groups and national agencies to promote the value of working with us and to help them to specifically identify cargo crime. This is vital if we are to understand the full scale of the problem.”

TAPA EMEA is continuing to work with the European Commission, national government ministries and policing bodies such as INTERPOL, Europol and TISPOL to encourage greater intelligence sharing.

In Q1, 20 cargo crimes in Germany were also reported to TAPA EMEA’s IIS and Spain was the location of 10 reported freight thefts, followed by Italy with nine and France and South Africa, which both recorded eight cargo crimes. A lower level of crimes were reported in a further seven countries in the region. Germany recorded the most crimes with a loss value of more than €100,000 but the biggest single theft in the quarter took place in the Auxerre region of France when criminals hijacked vehicles carrying diamonds, other jewels and artworks value at €9 million. 

In the crime reports that quoted a product category, Clothing & Footwear and Consumer Electronics accounted for 15.5% of thefts with 16 recorded incidents each in the first quarter of 2015. Tobacco was the target in a further 10 cargo crimes, followed by seven incidents in which criminals stole Food & Beverage products.

Over the three-month period, IIS also recorded five Metal thefts and four incidents involving the loss of Pharmaceuticals, the same as for Cosmetics & Hygiene products. Four product categories each reported three thefts from the supply chain; Car Parts & Tyres, Tools & Building Materials, Household Appliances, and Toys & Games. Bicycles were stolen in two incidents and there were nine other product lines that suffered a single loss each.   

Crimes involving transport vehicles continued to dominate incidents reported to IIS. The 89 Theft of Vehicle crimes in Q1 accounted for 43.2% of total crimes for the quarter and this was closely followed by Theft from Vehicle with a further 81 recorded losses or 39.3% of all incidents. Most of these thefts took placed at unsecured parking locations. Hijackings rose from 15 in Q1 2014 to 17 in the latest reporting period and accounted for 8.25% of all crimes. Burglary was the fourth highest incident type with 10 crimes, 4.8% of the overall total. Only 3.3% of incidents in the first quarter of 2015 involved Theft from Facility crimes.        

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