Thursday, July 16, 2020

Transport and Logistics Insurance Group Praises Police Freight Unit for Continued Good Work

Pandemic Has Changed the Pattern of Cargo Crimes
Shipping News Feature

UK – Copious praise this week from insurance provider TT Club for the work of the Freight Unit of the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) and its most recent major success, the recovery and return of £200,00 worth of fashion goods.

The Freight Unit is part of the national police unit that acts as a bridge between the police and industry. Different sections of the service, of which the Freight Unit is one, handle crime involving ports, vehicle financing fraud and agricultural machinery among other types of crime. It works hard to protect communities in the UK from the harmful consequences of crime. It provides dedicated police capability into developing and disseminating intelligence that helps police forces pursue offenders, recover stolen goods and prevent crime, when and where possible.

As we have pointed out previously, the pandemic has seen a marked change in the nature of cargo crime. With the reduction in traffic on the roads during lockdown, suspicious activity became all the more obvious and this has tended to make crimes a more local affair. Break ins to warehouses in the UK have risen in number and there have been a number of ‘hook-up’ thefts, whereby perpetrators steal entire loaded trailers from premises.

As the TT Club points out to its 1100 members, this type of incident underlines the need for physical barriers to protect goods and assets. King pin locks, perimeter fencing, CCTV and security guards, all can serve to deter would be perpetrators. Cargo theft remains consistently one of the top five heads of cost in terms of claims for the businesses that the TT Club insures, which is why it focuses on on understanding all aspects of this risk and where possible influencing good management controls to mitigate the potential losses through efforts such as its StopLoss publication.

The recent recovery of those hundreds of boxes of fashion items was notable for another reason. The local police contacted the NaVCIS Freight Unit to report the discovered goods, an obvious but oft neglected thing. Rather than the goods going for destruction the agency was able to use its extensive database of theft activity to identify the reported loss of such goods and therefore the rightful owner, doubtless resulting in a major saving for the insurers. Mike Yarwood, TT Club Managing Director Loss Prevention, commented:

“This is a great demonstration of the valuable work being undertaken by the NaVCIS Freight Unit. Unfortunately, the Unit would not exist without the continued support and sponsorship of multiple private entities. Results like this should be a call to action for all potential stakeholders to support this valuable resource, less about direct benefit, rather taking responsibility to tackle crime proactively.”

As restrictions on movement are lifted in the UK, stakeholders need to be ever more vigilant, exercising due diligence to ensure that they maintain security, in what is predicted to be a very active period of cargo theft. The Covid-19 lockdown is unlikely to have diminished organised the criminal gangs appetite to realise funds through cargo theft, which continues to be a low-risk, high-gain opportunity for them.

For more information on how to support the work of the NaVCIS Freight Unit and to help mitigate the risk of cargo theft, please contact

Photo: Image courtesy of NaVCIS.