TAPA sees air cargo crime increase in downturn
TRANSPORTED Asset Protection Association (TAPA) warns aviation industry of increases in cargo crime incidents during the current recession with its latest figures for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region showing 3,756 reported incidents of cargo crime during 2008 with a total loss value of more than GDP170.6 million (US$240 million).
"The figures we are starting to see for 2008 reinforce our message that no one can afford to be complacent about cargo crime," said Gilad Solnik, incident information services lead for TAPA EMEA in a company statement.
Just over 10 per cent of crime reported in 32 countries in EMEA in 2008 were classified by TAPA as "major incidents". Over 72 per cent of the reported crimes were received from the UK, representing 2,720 incidents. Spain and Germany was the second and third highest reporting crime areas with 254 and 207 reported thefts.
In addition, 1,775 incidents of truck theft were reported involving empty vehicles.
"Organised criminals targeting high value products moving in supply chains remain the greatest threat but businesses also need to be more alert to the risk of opportunist thefts from ad hoc and first-time criminals," said Mr Solnik.
"We know from previous recessions that crime increases. UK government statistics, for example, reported a 19 per cent increase in violent crime during the recession of the early 1990s. We expect 2009 to be one of the toughest years of the last decade in terms of cargo crime statistics."
Statistics for 2008 show the number of vehicle thefts (laden or unladen) nearly doubled to 2,067. Most incidents occurred in non-secured parking areas in the UK, Germany and France.
In recent years, attacks on trucks have been the preferred modus operandi of criminals, although thefts from vehicles fell by 20 per cent, according to data captured last year.
One of the most alarming trends in 2008 was the 50 per cent increase in reported thefts from facilities to 102 cases - following a downward trend in recent years - while fraud rose 24 per cent to 31 incidents. A 47.4 per cent decrease in the number of vehicle hijackings may be the result of additional training companies are giving to drivers to help them to avoid violent attacks while on route.
Consumer electronics, food and beverages, metal, clothing and footwear were among the most frequently stolen products in 2008.
TAPA members have seen a reduction in their overall losses using the association's Freight Security Requirements and Truck Security Requirements, along with the sharing of crime data, market intelligence and co-operation with law enforcement agencies.
Gilad Solnik added: "The tools and intelligence available to TAPA members are proving to be an effective way to combat crime and our IIS is increasingly seen to have value by members and police agencies. EUROPOL, the European law enforcement organisation, for example, now uses IIS as a partner for its cargo theft incidents reporting and mapping system."
(TAPA) unites global manufacturers, logistics providers, freight carriers, law enforcement agencies, and other stakeholders with the common aim of reducing losses from international supply chains. Founded in 1997, TAPA has associations in EMEA, Asia and The Americas. Its global membership of over 500 companies report combined annual sales in excess of $900 billion.