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Criminals stealing goods worth €1.3 billion from trucks in Germany every year

Staff Writer |
Business associations in Germany have launched a joint initiative to tackle growing cargo thefts across the country which, according to a new report, result in product losses valued at €1.3 billion a year.

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The size of the problem has been identified by the joint calculations of several business associations, led by the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA).

According to the analysis, physical cargo carried onboard almost 26,000 trucks is stolen in Germany every year, averaging a new attack on a truck every 20 minutes.

In addition to the value of the goods, the group says further damages of €900 million are caused by penalties for delivery delays, the cost of replacing stolen products and repairing damage to vehicles targeted by cargo thieves.

One of the biggest challenges identified in the report is the low level of reporting and recording of cargo thefts in Germany, which follows a similar trend seen across Europe, and the fact that many of the incidents of thefts from vehicles in Germany involve trucks which are registered and insured in other European countries. Understanding the true causes and impact of cargo crime in Germany is also further complicated by the fact that German law enforcement agencies do not keep their own cargo crime statistics.

With the launch of their new "Theft Prevention in Freight Transport and Logistics Working Group," the associations are calling for greater support and action by law enforcement agencies in Germany.

In a statement, the Working Group says: "The business associations supporting this initiative are doing so because of the scale of cargo thefts and their impact on businesses in Germany.

"The ‘Theft Prevention in Freight Transport and Logistics Working Group’ aims to increase the safety of transport logistics by, among other things, means of higher safety standards and investments in locating technology, anti-theft alarm systems, immobilizers and secured parking spaces.

"We are urging the authorities to provide more support through increased search pressure on internationally active criminal organisations. The police authorities also need to be more present at highway service stations, and specialist police units and law enforcement agencies should help to streamline transnational law enforcement.

"In order to take targeted preventive and repressive measures, the investigating authorities must improve recording of ‘cargo theft’ offences and create the conditions for nationwide uniform reporting of cargo crime.

"Lack of staff, poor networking and low specialisation only serve to delay investigations. This situation has to be addressed as quickly as possible."

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