A programme to help the West Midlands lose its unenviable reputation for being the UK’s number one hotspot for truck crime has been launched at the West Midlands Regional Business Crime Conference.
The conference, at Birmingham Council House, also heard an audiovisual message on business crime from Minister for Crime Reduction, Vernon Coaker MP and an address by Shadow Minister for Business, Jonathan Djanogly MP.
With 25 per cent of all UK truck crime happening in the West Midlands region, and the average cost of an incident over £35,000, truck crime is a serious issue for truckers and haulage firms in the region.
Midland Truck Watch brings together the West Mercia Constabulary, West Midlands Police, Staffordshire Police and Warwickshire Police.
Under the new scheme, truckers and haulage firms will receive alerts - either by phone message, text, fax, or email - asking them to look out for stolen loads and vehicles.
West Midlands regional business crime forum chairman Mike Cherry told the conference: “This move has been warmly welcomed by - amongst others - the Road Haulage Association and is a vital step in our fight against business crime.”
The conference also saw the launch of a new guide giving practical crime prevention advice endorsed by Trade Minister and former CBI Director General Lord Jones of Birmingham.
Meanwhile rogue traders in the West Midlands will continue to be targeted after the government announced further money for the Central England Scambusters team.
£824,000 in new funding will help the specialist Trading Standards team, based in Solihull, to crack down on rogue traders, dodgy door-step salespeople, counterfeiters, prize draw scams and cowboy builders.
Consumer Affairs Minister Gareth Thomas told The Birmingham Post the Central England team is one of three pilots set up by the government in September 2006 and the scheme will now be extended throughout the country.