Wednesday, October 16, 2019

As Criminal Attacks Against Commercial Vehicles Continue to Rise Something At Last is Being Done

New Plans for Safer Truck Parking Across Europe Move Forward
Shipping News Feature

EUROPE – Theft from parked commercial vehicles can be more than simple larceny, and it has been our sad duty to report such crimes which have led to assaults, injuries and even death. The paucity of spaces and the variable standards which prevail in the sphere of lorry parking are little short of a disgrace and now it seems, in Europe at least, something may be done at last.

The European Commission study undertaken in 2018, and published earlier this year, the Safe & Secure Parking Spaces for Trucks programme, determined there should be standards adopted to approve Safe and Secure truck Parking Areas (SSTPAs) rating both security and service, with audit procedures to maintain standards. There should be maps freely available to drivers, and a common interface to exchange data so information can be easily obtained.

Now the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) is to explore the benefits of aligning its Parking Security Requirements (PSR) industry standard with the EC programme, hardly surprising as TAPA was one of the bodies which devised the Commission’s common standard on security and service, and the EC used TAPA statistics to arrive at its conclusions.

Now delegates at TAPA’s Parking Place Operators (PPO) conference in the Netherlands hosted by TAPA EMEA, and attended by a diverse group of supply chain industry stakeholders, heard how the organisation agreed to look for ‘a common understanding on the best way forward for secure parking’.

TAPA launched its Parking Security Requirements (PSR) 12 months ago, a tiered certification programme for PPOs to help drive significant growth in the number of secure parking sites in Europe and the wider EMEA region. Designed by industry experts to meet the needs of manufacturers and logistics service providers, PSR also provides TAPA members with an online route planning tool to easily identify parking sites participating in the programme, alongside cargo crime intelligence to map the level of risk along their intended routings.

TAPA’s database currently lists some 5,000 secure parking places in 10 countries in the EMEA region. Similarly, the EU has listed secure parking places for trucks and commercial vehicles as one of its top priorities, having identified that truck operators and drivers in Europe are confronted with an insufficient number of parking facilities and often park in non-secured zones or unsafe locations, increasing the risk to driver safety as well as vehicle and cargo thefts.

Its ‘Safe & Secure Parking Places for Trucks’ study has now defined an action plan with a certification framework and funding opportunities to increase the overall number of safe parking places and to help optimise existing capacity. The EC’s Safe & Secure Truck Parking Audit will be available later this year and offer a one-stop website for parking place owners, auditors and audit entities. The EU will share more information of its funding programme at a conference in Brussels on 7 November. TAPA President & CEO, Thorsten Neumann, said:

”As a result of the proactive actions taken by TAPA and the EU, we now see a unique window of opportunity for a significant step change in secure parking in Europe. Our conference in Rotterdam was to test the feeling of industry on the best way forward and we all recognised the value of having one common standard for secure parking. Having already collaborated with the European Commission study, we are keen to take this to the next stage and see how we can further leverage TAPA’s partnership with the EU to bring the most robust secure parking programme across the continent.

“We will continue to move forward with our own PSR Security Standard while our discussions with the EU continue but we can see a lot of common ground to align our respective programmes and provide a solution to satisfy the high demand for all levels of secure truck parking. We are confident that by working together we can meet our shared goal of making supply chains safer and more resilient.”

Last year, TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) recorded its highest-ever number of incidents involving criminal attacks on vehicles parked in unsecured locations. These 2,342 crimes in the EMEA region accounted for 58.8% of incidents reported to the Association in 2018. This upward trend has escalated further in 2019, with half-year data showing a further 167.6% year-on-year rise in crimes in unsecured parking places.