Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Met Police Policy Worries Road Haulage Transport Interests

It Seems Lower Level Crimes Are Not Worthy of Attention
Shipping News Feature
UK – There has been a press backlash over the past few days regarding the Metropolitan Police Service decision to not investigate some crimes which they deem to be not worthy of their time and resources. Now the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has pointed out the potential effect to transport companies which are victims of 'lower-level, higher volume' crimes such as vandalism, vehicle crime and fuel theft which the new Met new crime assessment policy downgrades.

According to press reports any crime where theft or damage amounts to less than £50, or where a minor crime’s CCTV is inadequate or not available, officers are instructed not to investigate. This practise is mirrored in other parts of the country where police forces have dropped investigations into lower level offences such as theft from motor vehicles, so they can prioritise their shrinking budgets and resources.

The RHA predicts that with a lack of government action on providing secure lorry parks, and fewer police on the street, hauliers may be increasingly targeted by thieves across the UK. Chief executive Richard Burnett commented:

“What sort of message does this send out to criminals? With a lowering risk of being caught or prosecuted, I fear this news will give gangs and opportunists the confidence to single trucks out as easy pickings. We’ve seen lorries targeted by criminals more than ever with the migrant crisis in Calais over the last few years, and this news is only going to add to the sense of unease amongst our drivers. Theft from large vehicles is often seen as a victimless crime. It’s not. Our industry runs on the tightest of margins so operators and suppliers can ill-afford to bear the cost of losing goods. But worst of all, for a driver it can be a horrendous experience.

The Mayor of London issued a strategy document in November 2017 which cracks on, as is the modern fashion, about ‘online crime reporting’ and ‘the use of social media’ but the devil is in the detail. The report opens explaining how cuts have to be made and it is obvious that there simply aren’t enough resources being made available to deal with all reported crime.