Freedom of Information requests has revealed the hotspots for truck theft in the United Kingdom. Although not all forces who were issued with the request responded, those that did show that Sussex is the worst area, with 87 truck and van thefts taking place since 2020. The second highest policing area was Hertfordshire Constabulary, which saw 67 in the same period.
The findings were released by Heald, who is a hostile vehicle mitigation system supplier. 45 requests were sent to UK police forces, and 27 responded. 11 police forces responded that they were not prepared to release the information. Meaning that the data is based on just 16 UK police forces. The request asked for information on HGV fifths over the last three years from 2020. The information was designed to be used to highlight how haulage companies might best protect themselves from this risk.
With Sussex coming in at number one as the worst place to be for truck thefts, the data also revealed that 10 drop sides were pinched, and in 2021 alone, four flatbed trucks were stolen. Between 2020 and 2022, there were also 20 tipper trucks stolen. The Freedom of Information request asked for more information about the specific locations each vehicle was stolen from. The information provided by the Sussex Constabulary showed that most of the thefts took place in streets and roads, open-air car parks and industrial estates. It also showed that lay-bys were a favourite place for thieves to sit and wait and try and take vehicles.
Bedfordshire Constabulary reported that in 2020 11 HGVs were stolen in their area, and 10 were pinched in 2021. The data for 2022 had reached 17 thefts by the time the Freedom of Information request was submitted, which was before the end of the year, and therefore does not provide a final figure. In Bedfordshire, the most likely towns for vehicles to be stolen were Luton, Kempston and Bedford.
Companies Urged to Take Action
Although protecting the fleet is not new, Debbie Heald MBE, the managing director of the company, said that ‘to help stop truck theft, haulage companies should consider implementing physical security products. While there may be an initial investment to consider, communities will not only have access to a vital resource. In addition, the financial loss and impact on insurance claims will also be lessened.” A company should also remind staff to lock the vehicles when they leave them and remove any valuable tools from the vehicle overnight, where possible. None of the methods of protecting a vehicle from theft is foolproof, but the more you can do, the better your chances of not suffering a fleet theft with any of your trucks and vans.