April 2016 Newsletter

Another massively busy month for IAATI UK and lots has been going on. If there is not a current problem with vehicle crime in the UK currently I fail to see how we can all be this busy in dealing with the clear up after the fact?

The problems are not just here though, we are hearing more and more from other countries facing very similar issues, many of these are now all being pegged under the banner of ‘electronic compromise’.

Throughout April though I have been notified of approx £300,000 of stolen UK vehicles, trouble is all five of these are far from our shores. 4 pulled out of containers in Mombasa in Kenya, the other in Marbella, Spain. The relevant owners be it lender or insurance company have been notified although there appears no appetite with all vehicles to seek recovery. With this kind of logic, it does appear on the face of it why UK is such a target for foreign gangs.

The Conference plans are going well though and this will be the premier conference in the UK this year discussing problems with vehicle theft and vehicle enabled crime. The agenda of speakers is impressive, we have a good cross sector of law enforcement and private sector solution makers on board which should allow not only discussing the problems we are all seeing but ways in which they can be combated.

James Coomber of Border Policing Command from the National Crime Agency (NCA) will be presenting on vehicle concealment for smuggling arms and drugs. Simon Whitaker from NaVCIS will be speaking on ports operations and Superintendent Paul Keasey from West Midlands police will be speaking on the evolution of vehicle crime to name but 3 of the stand out presentations to come.

Solution makers such as Trade Vehicle Locks, Vodafone Automotive, Datatag and APU will all be on the agenda also. All of the mentioned companies offer very effective ways in which to combat and curb the current threats we are seeing. Through work in the industry I am also aware these companies are some of the hardest working I have seen of late, again due to increases of targeted crime involving vehicles.

All members will now be aware of the elections for the Board from our Membership Secretary Phillip Swift. We currently have a full Board of Directors although this doesn’t prevent any member of IAATI UK applying for any of the roles. On this point I have now set up the provisional working groups I would like to encourage within IAATI. Members will be invited to join these, they will not be solely made up of Board directors and I see them as a great way of succession planning for the future of IAATI UK. Myself or the current UK Board will not be around forever and as a member organisation we need to ensure continuity and future planning and I see members who join working groups as a way to engage further, highlight whatever skills members may have and further demonstrate how you can work for the organisation. This I believe may also demonstrate who Board members of the future may be but it is a good way to give all a chance to see what you can assist in and bring to the table.

Working groups will consist of no fewer than three individuals and no more than 5 (at this stage). The reason for this approach is it ensures that no one person speaks for the organisation without counsel from others. It will ensure there is never a split decision on any matters discussed. It also allows for members to become more involved with IAATI, not just in the UK but also on a global level; as said working groups will feed back into the current UK Board. This is also how other IAATI Chapters run their affairs and therefore it makes good sense IAATI UK should adopt this practise in the days ahead.

I would like to thank the members that did get in touch after the last newsletter and explained where their expertise is regarding tackling vehicle crime. These members may be contacted to join one of the working groups. At present the provisional working groups are;

  1. Branch Strategy
  2. Finance Team
  3. Membership
  4. By-Laws and Constitution
  5. Legal/ Conflicts of Interest
  6. Liaison with International
  7. Comms and Press
  8. Conference
  9. Support(Sponsorship)
  10. Awards
  11. Training and Awareness
  12. Current Theft Issues

There are a few more I would like to include but these need to be ratified and agreed by the current Board so until the AGM I will not include at this stage. It is worth looking through and seeing where, as a member you may be able to add value. We are a membership organisation therefore I see this as a better way to gain further membership engagement, encourage new talent to join IAATI UK and to provide a more qualified opinion on the subject matter of vehicle crime and ways and means in which we can collectively disrupt or curb the threat.

The presentation with Finance and Leasing Association members went down well in mid April. I was given some good feedback for raising awareness of how vehicles are currently going missing, measures in which lenders can further take in order to secure their vehicles further by use of database registration with the provenance check companies. I was also asked for further engagement with them to discuss what actions this area of the industry would like to see happen in the days ahead to combat vehicle crime.

UK lenders collectively own approx 1 in 4 vehicles on the roads so I see working with them as crucial to tackle the problems faced. One thing that came out of the liaison was an aim to pull several UK agencies t (NaVCIS, Interpol, IAATI, SOCA, IFED, MIB etc.) together annually to encourage knowledge sharing about vehicles involved in crime. This I see as a further good step forward to the ‘Partnership Approach’ we have been encouraging. I will keep members posted on this subject as we move forward although one lender has already requested assistance for a high end asset that has gone missing and has not been paid for.

In summary there IS a real problem going on in the UK right now. Dr Ken German highlighted well in a LinkedIn piece that from chop shops, to electronic compromise, Land Rover Defender thefts up by a staggering 75% on last year to theft of classics it appears there isn’t an area of vehicle crime that isn’t undergoing a resurgence this year.

Asset Fraud involving vehicles is up by a massive 24% also and we are still seeing many cases of ‘Cash for Crash’ insurance frauds being committed. The through-line to all of this though is the vehicle and personally I cannot think of another way in which criminals can gain such large amounts of revenues and make transactions look legitimate than using vehicles as part of their operations. For this reason, I do believe the problems will continue to rise in the months and years ahead.

ANY points, queries or questions you may have please do not hesitate to contact me directly at justinpowell@iaati.org.uk . Hopefully we will see you and colleagues at the conference in June. Please contact me if you require further information or visit our website at www.iaati.org.uk

Best regards

Justin Powell – IAATI UK President