TAPA calls for greater data sharing amid crime surge

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According to the latest figures from Incident Information Service (IIS) of the the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA), incidents of cargo crime in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA) have reached a three-year high during the first quarter of 2016, averaging five incidents per day and representing nearly €8 million in losses. To combat this problem, TAPA said, the industry needs to share more cargo crime data collected by law enforcement agencies.

In the first quarter ended March 31, TAPA said 444 incidents in EMEA were reported to the IIS, which is a 115 percent increase over the previous Q1 results, for a quarterly average of about five incidents per day. Thefts from supply chains were reported in 19 countries in EMEA, TAPA said, including 29 “major losses,” with a value of more than €100,000. The average loss for those incidents that reported a value was €74,547. The highest single loss reported during Q1 2016 was the theft of eight pallets of perfume valued at €600,000 from a trailer in Lastrup, Germany, TAPA said. (See more crimes statistics in graphic above.)

By sharing cargo crime data, manufacturers and logistics companies will be better able to protect high-value goods in supply chains and “relieve the pressure on police forces that have to deal with the growing number of incidents” in the EMEA region, TAPA said.

“Our members are able to operate more resilient supply chains because they can use the intelligence we already receive from some police forces to avoid known ‘hotspots’ for cargo crimes and to protect their facilities and vehicles against the types of attacks we know are taking place several times a day in Europe alone,” said Thorsten Neumann, chairman of TAPA EMEA. “We already receive data from law enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany and Sweden and now we have a commitment from French police to also share data with our Incident Information Service.”

Still, Neumann said, there is a need for more crime intelligence from across the region before the industry and law enforcement can make a dent in these IIS findings. “Similarly, we are asking more insurers to help us gain a better understanding of the true level of cargo crime, which remains massively under-reported,” he added.

Drilling down into the data, TAPA found that 86.2 percent of the Q1 cargo thefts occurred in four countries: The U.K. (131 incidents), the Netherlands (126), Germany (86) and Sweden (40). All four countries reported an increase, year-on-year, as a result of increased sharing of incident data by police authorities. France, South Africa and Italy recorded a combined total of 32 cargo crimes.

Cargo thieves are now just as likely to target high volumes of lower-value goods as they are for individual high-value products, TAPA found. In the 16 IIS product categories reporting losses this quarter, Food & Drink recorded the highest number of incidents – as it did for the whole of 2015 – with 48 losses, or 10.8 percent of Q1 crime incidents. There were 35 recorded cases of thefts of Clothing & Footwear, 25 losses of Computers/Laptops, 24 incidents involving Furniture/Household Appliances, and 20 reported thefts in both the Cosmetics & Hygiene and Tools/Building Materials categories.

Other products commonly stolen from supply chains in Q1 2016 included tobacco, tires, toys, games, bicycles, metal, sports equipment, pharmaceuticals, car parts, cash and mobile phones, TAPA said.

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