Truckpol takes down freight crime gang

Commercial vehicle crime fighting partnership Truckpol has reported it has received significant interest from both the police and the wider industry in support of the initiative since its relaunch in March (Trucking, May).

As a result, the service said the National Business Crime Solution (NBCS) is now engaging with over 40 police forces and 150 officers from across the UK to help provide up-to-date freight crime data – and its work has already led to some successful arrests.

Truckpol told Trucking it was recently contacted by the police following information relating to two incidents that involved the theft of goods from vehicles while in transit. The officers working on the incident were keen to explore whether this formed part of a wider series of crimes, or whether Truckpol was aware of any similar incidents.

To find out, Truckpol circulated the details in an alert distributed to the police network and were subsequently contacted by officers who informed them of a method of operation (MO) prevalent in Eastern Europe, whereby offenders illegally obtain goods while the vehicle is moving.

Truckpol subsequently alerted businesses to this MO and the possible link to comparable incidents and asked them to send in any details of similar unexplained losses that may form a part of this series of crimes. Truckpol collated all of the incident details and, thanks to close engagement with the Central Motorway Policing Group, provided detailed information on the recorded movements of the convoy of suspected vehicles.

The information gathered by the NBCS led to an organised police operation in which one of the suspected vehicles was stopped, and as a result 11 suspects were arrested – all originating from Eastern Europe. All of the suspects were remanded in custody on a conspiracy charge and are currently waiting to be sentenced.

John Traynor, director of security, TNT said: “I was particularly impressed at the speed which Truckpol was able to collate and disseminate information between the industry and the police. This ensured these offences were stopped before this emerging trend became a significant crime series. This is clear evidence of the value of sharing data across the industry and bodes well for the future of Truckpol.”