The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has agreed to help the government tackle car crime by making contributions to its new Vehicle Crime Taskforce
David Jamieson has been spearheading a countrywide campaign aimed at tackling the security weaknesses that exist in many keyless cars.
The Taskforce will work to improve vehicle security standards, introduce tough new procedures for the salvage industry and to restrict the sale of tools, both mechanical and electronic, which can be used to steal vehicles.
Car thefts in the West Midlands have almost tripled since 2015 and, as such, Mr Jamieson has made tackling the issue a priority for the area’s police.
In 2018 Mr Jamieson met with Ford, Nissan, Audi, Jaguar LandRover (insert others) and put pressure on them to close security loopholes in their keyless technology.
The Commissioner is also ensuring West Midlands Police does all it can to clamp down on organised criminals who make millions of pounds by stealing vehicles and either shipping them to customers abroad or chopping them up in back street garages and selling them for parts.
The Taskforce will be chaired by the Policing Minister, Nick Hurd MP.
A representative from the PCC’s office will sit on the taskforce which will meet every 6 months and includes key players in the car industry. Other than the Met, the West Midlands is the only force represented.
The taskforce’s work includes:
- Working to improve vehicle security standards across the industry
- Making changes to legislation and codes of practice where necessary to ensure that criminals cannot take advantage of the motor salvage process
- To look to see whether measures are required to restrict the sale of tools which can be used to steal vehicles through electronic compromise.
David Jamieson said: “I have been calling for the government to take more action on vehicle crime for some time. Through this taskforce I want to see swift action to bring down vehicle thefts and disrupt the operation of organised criminals.
“I have made vehicle crime a top priority for West Midlands Police.
“It will play its part in tackling these crimes, having made almost 1,000 arrests and more than 600 vehicle recoveries since September 2018.
“However, vehicle manufacturers need to start making their vehicles more difficult for thieves to steal.
“Through this taskforce we will be seeking to achieve a higher standard of vehicle security, requiring vehicles which have been repaired after being written off to undergo a safety and identity check to ensure that parts from stolen cars have not been used in their repair.
“I am still concerned that equipment which can be used to easily steal a vehicle through electronic compromise is still on sale to the general public.
“I have been calling on retailers to act responsibly and stop selling these devices which are being used to commit these crimes.”