Logistics UK launches report into van crime


More than one third of businesses have had a van stolen in the last 12 months, according to Logistics UK’s Van Security Report, launched this week. To understand the nature and scale of van crime, the business group collated data from police forces across the UK and sought real-life examples and insights from van users through a Van Security Survey.

With crimes currently reported to individual police forces, Logistics UK want a central record held to monitor and tackle the problem.
Denise Beedell, Policy Manager for Vans and Urban at Logistics UK, comments: “Van content theft has, on average, cost businesses £4,250 in the last 12 months. In addition to initial cost implications, logistics businesses also face increased operational costs and potential staff and customer retention difficulties as a result of these thefts.

“Currently, it is up to individual police forces to decide how to record commercial van crime, resulting in an incomplete picture of the extent of this type of crime. To better highlight the impact of these crimes on van operating businesses, to policy makers at all level of Government, Logistics UK is calling for a UK-wide standard reporting mechanism among all police force areas. 

“Logistics UK is also calling for the Home Office to allocate a national crime reporting code to allow better understanding of the scale and reach of this crime and to support better allocation of police resources. It must be recognised that this type of crime is not victimless, and its impacts are felt keenly by operators and their employees. We will also be looking to work with manufacturers of vehicle and security equipment to explore what features can be developed for commercial vans to minimise van related crimes.” 

Recent research conducted by WhatCar?, who submitted a Freedom of Information request to obtain the data,  discovered that since 2016 over 43,000 vans have been stolen — an average of 30 vans per day. A further 117,000 vans were broken into over the same period. 

According to the RAC, with so many UK businesses relying on their van or multiple vans to operate smoothly, the latest van theft statistics paint an alarming picture. Van related crime is increasing and the result is a hefty cost of over £61.9 million to businesses in lost tools and other items since 2016. 

According to the RAC, 90% of new vans come with remote locking and 80% come with a deadlock which makes it much more difficult for thieves to pick the lock of the van. 

Research also showed that only 42% of new vans are produced with an alarm fitted as standard, while 5.5% don’t actually have the capability to have one fitted. 

Basic van security such as an alarm or smart locking isn’t always enough to deter thieves.
Business owners are urged to use all possible measures to deter thieves, such as parking in well-lit areas, removing items of value from the vehicle when not in use, lockboxes, alarms and installing tracking devices.