The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is to join forces with online truckers’ community TruckersWorld to prevent and protect against truck theft. From October 2009, FTA will be supporting TruckersWorld’s Truck Theft Text Alert (TTTA) as part of the logistics sector’s bid to bring down truck theft and bring those guilty of it to justice.
The TTTA scheme passes the details of trucks or trailers which have been stolen to HGV drivers by text and encourages them to be on the look-out. If spotted, drivers can then alert the police who can execute a recovery of the load – and take the criminals into custody.
FTA’s Jo Tanner said:
"FTA is delighted to support this scheme, which already has widespread support among the driving fraternity. One of the more sinister outcomes of the economic downturn has been the rise in thefts from trucks, from the siphoning of diesel to the hijacking of complete units, increasingly with menace or violence to drivers. TruckersWorld’s Truck Theft Text Alert will hopefully not only help in the recovery of losses but also put thieves off altogether."
Barrie Tozer, TruckersWorld’s founder, said:
"TruckersWorld members are at the sharp end of truck theft, which is why FTA’s support for the TTTA is great news. Their support will allow us to make the scheme available to even more drivers and help the police and vehicle operators recover stolen trucks and trailers. We hope that other organisations, such as those in the insurance sector, will follow FTA’s lead and recognise the value of the TTTA too. Then perhaps we can bring truck theft right down."
There has been concern within the sector that theft of or from trucks and trailers has not been given the priority it deserves from the police. As a result, operators have either sought out their lost vehicles and loads themselves or simply written them off. FTA and TruckersWorld are strongly encouraging their members to report any losses to the police.
Jo Tanner concluded:
"What we currently have is a classic vicious circle, where operators have little faith in the police and therefore fail to report losses, while the police do not see the true picture of the problem and therefore do not provide the resources. We need operators to draw a line under this now and report any and all losses to the police. Only then will these thefts get the police profile and priority they need."
AVCIS, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service, a unit dedicated to vehicle-enabled crime which includes TruckPol, has also endorsed the TTTA.
The Truck Theft Text Alert is available to all operators who in the unfortunate event have a vehicle or trailer stolen. A text message to a central number will receive a return call to obtain and confirm relevant details – make and model of the vehicle, livery, county it was stolen in and direction of travel – and those details are then disseminated by text message to all those drivers who have signed up to the scheme. If they see the vehicle, they are advised to contact the police. They are strongly discouraged from taking any other action.
TTTA members are strongly advised to abide by the law, including not using their mobile phones while driving.
Truckersworld is a community of professional drivers which has come together to improve the logistics sector and to promote a better image of the profession to the general public. Within its membership are personnel from the police, VOSA and the Highways Agency, all of whom share their advice on best practice with other members of the community. The Truckersworld website receives over 55 million visits each year. Drivers use the online forum to share their experiences of driving and the challenges that they face on a day-to-day basis. Those experiences are shared with senior political figures and opinion formers, allowing drivers to help influence and shape the future of transport.
FTA is the UK’s only multi-modal transport trade association, representing over 14,000 members operating on roads, rail, sea and in the air.
ACPO’s Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (AVCIS) has endorsed the TTTA as part of the fight against truck crime.