The 2022 National Freight and Cargo Crime Analysis Report was designed to track and measure incoming levels of crime against HGV drivers and vehicles. The latest report indicates that there were 5086 reports of crime, and the estimated industry costs were £68.6m just in lost stock and thefts. The estimated retail value will be much higher.
No Police Intervention
Truck hijacking is, thankfully, a rare occurrence. However, these recent thefts and losses are not considered to be high-priority by police and other law enforcement operatives. When assessing risk and harm, HGV thefts are low down on the list.
There are more than 300,000 HGV drivers in the UK. Most of them work alone and at night time which increases the risk of theft. Having access to safer and more secure parking spaces would make this type of crime much more difficult to pull off.
To try and make sure that this happens, the RHA is currently campaigning to make crime involving freight an officially recognised category for police so they will be taken more seriously. It is a slow process, so, in the meantime, there are official national police units who have stepped up to fill the gap and collect information about the different crimes being committed.
All of this work is pretty vital, and it offers up a perspective which we don’t normally get.
The real challenge is the fact that most organised crime groups have a comprehensive understanding of how supply chains work. They know which vehicles are travelling to specific locations, and they know where to wait in order to pick up on who they can steal from.
As an endemic, freight crime can cost the economy up to £250 million each year. In 2021, the estimated cost was actually £428 million. With that being said, it would be unwise to call the material losses, the only real part of the crime. There are drivers who need to go all across the country by themselves to earn money, and if these individuals don’t feel safe because they are at risk of being physically harmed to get access to that goods, then you’re creating a massive disparity between the amount of freight that needs hauling and the number of people willing to do it.
We definitely need to think about creating dedicated spaces where vehicles can be locked up securely and drivers have somewhere safe to stop and rest. The current provision is not acceptable, and it’s easy to see why a lot of drivers don’t feel safe travelling long distances, especially at night time.
Experts feel that we would need another 11,000 parking areas across the country to properly keep everybody safe. This definitely sounds like a big undertaking, but when you break it down, it’s not as bad as it originally may seem. It’s definitely a vital part of keeping drivers safe from harm, as we are living in a world where the number of HGV drivers willing to do long haul trips is an all-time low.