£53m of stolen company vehicles unrecovered each year
The company examined data from 43 of the UK’s 45 police forces over a six-year period from 2009 to 2014, and an estimated 61,000 (10.8%) of the 565,000 total vehicle thefts affected company-owned cars and vans.
With an average of 49.6% of these recovered, APU said there’s a potential loss of 5,600 business vehicles per year. The company said this equates to a total of £52.9m of unrecovered vehicles per year, based on an average ex-fleet value of £9,455 in 2014.
Meanwhile, HMIC figures suggest 52% of crimes in 2013 had not resulted in a suspect being identified, while a quarter of vehicle thefts were not attended by police.
Neil Thomas, head of investigative services at APU commented: “The monetary value of the lost vehicles can only be described as the tip of the iceberg, as many recovered vehicles are found damaged or burnt out and subsequently written off. In reality, the loss figure is likely to be higher still.
“Increasing pressure on police forces in the form of budget cuts and overstretched resources means not enough time can be dedicated to the retrieval of these stolen vehicles. Part of the problem is that the police often consider that, if the stolen car belongs to a business rather than the private individual, it is a ‘civil crime’.
“This is further evidence that there needs to be greater cooperation between police, insurance firms, law enforcement agencies and private companies if valuable assets are to be protected.”