Have the police resigned themselves to the fact that they are little more than a recording facility? A vehicle theft is (eventually) placed on the PNC LoS (Police National Computer Lost or Stolen) register in the hope this ‘negative’ will become a ‘positive’ and the scales of justice are one again balanced … since 16th century, Lady Justice is regularly depicted wearing a blindfold representing impartiality. Whilst the ideal is that justice should be applied without regard to wealth, power or status it appears this can now be equally applied to the failure to see the harm a vehicle theft causes:
- inconvenience, hardship and financial loss to the original victim
- profit to a thief – without deterrent
- substantial inconvenience and loss to an Innocent purchaser unknowingly acquiring such a car
- wasted police resources
19/10/2017, reported by the Association of British Investigators:
‘My car was parked on my driveway – the next morning it was gone’
I immediately called the maker’s On Call service, which I’d subscribed to, to see if it could be traced or immobilised. The chap on the line was very sympathetic, but explained I would need to speak to the police first before he could do anything. So that’s who I called next, to be told that only the “investigating officers” could speak to the On Call service and that they’d phone me back. This they did; seven hours later.
I was asked a few cursory questions and then told: “We won’t be able to investigate this further.” It felt like the ultimate box-ticking exercise.
I’m told my car is now likely on its way to Africa or Eastern Europe. That’s shocking enough. But it’s the casual acceptance of its fate that will be my lasting impression of the whole sorry episode.
The full, frank and concerning episode can be read by clicking here.
Possibly it is time for the authorities to embrace the work undertaken by insurers, their representatives, vehicle information suppliers, security experts and the likes of IAATI UK? The police have 'better things to do' than dealing with vehicle crime at its lowest level but it is here to stay and on the increase - dramatically so (about 30%). Nationwide there is an inconsistent approach to the subject, a lack of knowledge (how many stolen vehicle squads remain?) and therefore a lack of deterrent. Archaic processes remain and it appears the approach to recording a vehicle theft is little more than it was in the 80's with a crime report being endorsed:
"vehicle left locked, secure and unattended. Unable to assist re' suspects".
There is so much more than could be done to deter theft, protect those who are offered a stolen vehicle and enable police officers to get on with 'priorities' and 'performance indicators'.