Business, Freight News

Freight crime: stand up and be counted

[ October 19, 2012   //   ]

A university researcher is urging the freight industry to respond to a questionnaire and help put freight crime on the Police’s agenda. John Edmondson, associate lecturer in Policing at the University of Central Lancashire – and a police officer for 30 years – has been undertaking research into the ‘true cost’ of crime against the freight industry; many in the industry say it is well in excess of the official 2012 figure of £140 million – possibly as much as a billion pounds or more.

So far, he has concentrated his research on North West England, where he has been comparing collated Police figures from the region with reports from the freight industry itself by companies or individuals.

However, the response has been, frankly, disappointing, with a total of only ten responses to hundreds of emailed questionnaires by email and post. Edmondson has now decided to extend his research to cover the whole country and gain feedback from as many companies or individuals as possible.

He told FBJ: “If the research can show that the true figure is, as many suspect, a lot higher than the reported one, we can help put it higher up the policing agenda.” Polices forces have to juggle many competing demands for their attention and smaller-scale crime inevitably tends to get pushed to the back of the queue. “If the Police don’t recognise it as a problem, they won’t allocate the budget,” he said.

In fact, at the moment crime against the freight industry is not recognised as a separate category in itself, but tends to be subdivided among a range of other offences. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the industry and the criminals that prey on it, so crime is dispersed among dozens of different Police forces. Indeed, the British Crime Survey does not even recognise vehicle crime as a category in itself, points out Edmondson.

There was a small Police dedicated to lorry crime, TruckPol, but that was clsoed on 1 March – despite the fact that the UK Government is required under EU regulations to have such an organisation, said Edmondson.

The survey is available at

All information will be treated in the strictest confidence and will be anonymised.