U.K. Conference Seeks to Put Brakes on Auto Theft

Justin Powell, who heads the U.K. branch of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators, says vehicle crime not only is a problem in itself but also is also a key enabler of other serious crimes, including terrorism.

Alan Harman, Correspondent

June 6, 2016

1 Min Read
Organizationrsquos targets include eliminating bogus insurance claims
Organization’s targets include eliminating bogus insurance claims.

U.K. investigators are looking for ways to stem a recent increase in vehicle thefts at a time when police are reducing the number of dedicated stolen-vehicle units.

The U.K. conference of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators is set for June 8-9 in Loughborough, 115 miles (185 km) north of London.

IAATI U.K. President Justin Powell says vehicle thefts inevitably will grow as cutbacks in stolen-vehicle units result in fewer police able to keep up with advancements in automotive technology.

“In short, the wheels will come off,” Powell says in a statement. “Whether we are talking about the targeting of modern classics, such as Ford Escorts and Land Rover Defenders, or tech-savvy criminals using electronic compromise to steal cars worth hundreds of thousands of pounds each, it usually involves organized criminal gangs.”

Powell says vehicle crime not only is a problem in itself but also is also a key enabler of other serious crimes, including terrorism.

“It is therefore imperative to keep up the pressure,” he says. “IAATI promotes joined-up thinking, a partnership approach between law enforcement and the private sector, which is essential in tackling all areas of vehicle crime across the globe.”

The conference will feature speakers from Jaguar Land Rover and a number of police agencies, covering topics including the current state of vehicle crime, keyless thefts, smuggling arms and drugs, “cash for crash” – staging accidents and then filing false insurance claims – GPS jamming and stealing cars for export.

IAATI U.K. members include law-enforcement agencies, automakers, auto-insurance companies, government officials and private investigators.

About the Author(s)

Alan Harman

Correspondent, WardsAuto

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