Thousands of trucks are stolen every year in the UK, costing insurance companies up to £1 billion. Even a tiny share of this can spell disaster for an operator and negatively impact on profit, client goodwill and securing future contracts. Therefore, it is essential for operators to take security seriously and not treat it as an afterthought.
Keeping keys safe
It’s important to make sure keys are kept in a safe place. Work out and use secure practices for the control of keys to vehicles and premises. Also:
• If drivers keep the keys to company vehicles when not at work, advise them to: keep them secure at all times; never leave them where they could be copied and make sure there is no way of identifying the keys or the truck from the key-ring
• If drivers’ vehicle keys are kept at the operating centre: keep them in a secure and lockable location, out of sight of strangers and never use an obvious hiding place, for example, inside the front bumper
Advice for operators and drivers
HGVs are vulnerable as long as they are carrying a load. Drivers should therefore be aware of some simple steps to help reduce the chance of becoming a victim. Make sure you:
• Instruct your drivers never to leave the vehicle with the key in the ignition and the engine running
• Ensure your drivers use pre-planned, approved overnight parking facilities
• Do not allow drivers to give lifts, or to have any unauthorised people in the cab
• Alert drivers to criminal traps. Thieves will try and stop drivers while they are driving or delivering by using a number of various tricks. These include staged accidents, impersonating police officers or officials and pretending that the trailer doors are open
• Only stop for marked police/DVSA vehicles with uniformed occupants. If in doubt, ask for identification
• Alert drivers to vulnerable loads and issue Vulnerable Load Cards in accordance with Association of Chief Police Officers’ guidelines. Copies of the Vulnerable Load Card are available from the RHA Shop.
To secure your vehicle, you should:
• Use security equipment: it will make your vehicles less of a target for thieves and ensure that the equipment is regularly maintained by the installer
• Each vehicle will need different levels and types of security equipment depending on its use therefore, have some form of additional immobilisation for your vehicles
• Remember to look for equipment already fitted when buying new vehicles and consider what extras can be fitted
More than half of all stolen trucks are taken from their owners’ own premises. It is for this reason that secure premises are vital in the fight against theft. Your local police crime prevention officer or premises insurer will be able to offer you useful advice. When you are planning your premises security, consider the following areas:
• Perimeter protection (i.e. fences)
• Site access and its control (i.e. gates)
• Surveillance (i.e. lighting and CCTV)
• Intruder detection (i.e. alarms and verification)
• Visitor control
• Limiting the number of key holders
• Remote staff vehicle parking
• Controlled access to loading bays, vehicle key storage and control systems
• Personnel and vehicle search procedures
Reporting theft or suspicious activity
If you witness or experience anything suspicious, however minor or serious, complete the incident report form.
RHA security forum
The aim of the security forum is to increase goal focused, constructive engagement with the police and identify, target and disrupt criminal activity against the haulage and distribution industry. It provides a platform for: debate, intelligence knowledge sharing, trends and product innovation.