The RHA is concerned about the impact the Metropolitan Police Service decision to not investigate some crimes will have on hauliers and lorry drivers who operate in London.
Reports in the media have revealed that the Met has introduced a new crime assessment policy where ‘lower-level, higher volume’ crimes such as vandalism, vehicle crime and fuel theft may not be pursued.
“This is a worrying development,” says RHA chief executive Richard Burnett. “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 Times newspaper reports that 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.
“What sort of message does this send out to criminals?” continues Richard. “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.”