Thursday, April 1, 2010

Police Warn Haulage Companies And Lorry Drivers of Scam

Trucks Targeted in Crash Con
Shipping News Feature

UK – Truckpol, the national police intelligence unit that combats freight theft and crimes aimed at the road haulage industry, has warned truck drivers to be aware of a spate deliberately induced road collisions. Organised criminal groups are targeting companies who operate vehicle fleets within the M25 area by deliberately causing collisions in order to defraud their insurers.

The police alert is replicated in full:

What are the features of these induced collisions?

The criminals will use two cars to target their victim. These cars will get ahead of the victim's vehicle in steady moving traffic, the first will then brake hard or make an unexpected manoeuvre, this will cause the second car to brake hard (often using the handbrake to avoid alerting the intended victim) and result in a collision.

The first car will make off while the second (now damaged) car will stop and converse with their victim. The occupants of this second car will make a point of blaming the car that has made off...and appear to sympathize with their victim - YOU ! ! However, all sympathies are distraction - the aim is to now force their advantage.

Who are they?

The criminals may be of Asian extraction.

There will often be at least three occupants in the car.

Offender driver details are pre-prepared and are often already written out. Insurance and registration documents may be carried in their car. This is to help the deception be made swiftly.

The driver will speak English while the other occupants do not.

It should be noted that these features are a guide only and all elements may not be present at every induced collision.

What action should the driver take if they genuinely believe they have been the victim of an induced collision?

(1) Your first action is to immediately call the Police on the non-emergency number 0300 123 1212 and say that you believe you have been involved a deliberately induced collision - give the index number of the other vehicle.

(2) You MUST tell the operator that you need an OPERATION CATCHER response. The sooner you call us the more time we have to get to you. Do NOT inform the other vehicle you have called the police as they will probably leave the scene.

(3) Make a mental note of who was driving; it is very important you can identify this person to the police.

(4)Exchange details as you would normally do but take your time; this will give the police time to get to you. Take details of ALL occupants - you can say that this is company policy because of recent experience of personal injury claims.

(5) Make a note of the car that drove off and make a note of where you first saw it - this will help the police trace it later.

We will do our best but can’t guarantee to get to every call before the exchange of details is complete. In these circumstances it would be helpful if drivers could:

(a) Photograph damage to other vehicle and photograph driver.

(b) Retain any papers supplied by the other driver in a plastic bag and avoid any unnecessary direct handling (This can be taken by police later and forensically examined). A self seal food bag would be ideal.

(c) As above - Make a note of the car that drove off and make a note of where you first saw it - this will help the police trace it later.

(d) Call the police back and tell us that the other vehicle has left the scene and the direction it went.

A police officer will contact the driver and/or the company over the following days in order to pursue the investigation.