TAPA outlines plans for secure parking programme to combat cargo crime

Plans for a new programme to increase the number of secure parking locations for trucks and their drivers have been presented to the European Commission in Brussels by the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) in its latest initiative to minimise losses from supply chains in the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region.

Addressing LANDSEC, the Commission’s expert group on land transport security, TAPA outlined its plan to launch a robust secure parking programme in the first half of 2017.

Data reported to TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) shows that over 86% of all recorded cargo crimes last year involved trucks. The Association captured intelligence on 807 cases of Theft from Vehicle alone in 2015, representing 53.3% of all crimes in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, as well as 205 incidents involving Theft of Vehicle, 145 Theft from Trailer crimes, 81 Truck Thefts and 61 cases of Theft of Trailer. The majority of the 60 Hijackings reported to TAPA last year also involved attacks on trucks and drivers.

In 57.2% of all recorded cargo crimes in 2015, information provided by companies, law enforcement agencies and insurers stated the location of thefts to be ‘Unsecured Parking’, totalling 866 incidents. One of the causes of crime, TAPA says, is the lack of credible, measurable secure parking sites in the EMEA region, and particularly Europe, making it extremely difficult for companies to determine the security level of a parking site without a physical inspection.

TAPA’s secure parking programme will be open to all parking owners. The Association says its aim is to identify secure parking places through certification, partnership and mutual recognition. It will recognise existing secure parking locations and encourage other parking site operators to update the security of their locations to attract new business. TAPA is building a new online tool for its Manufacturer and Logistics Service Provider members that will incorporate a route planner, a secure parking locator, site information and contact details, as well as an incident history overlay showing the locations of previous cargo crimes reported to TAPA on the routes companies are planning to use.

The online tool will also provide an opportunity for feedback from TAPA members, drivers, parking owners and law enforcement agencies.

In Phase 1, there will be three ways for parking site owners to join the new secure parking programme:

• A self-certification entry level with TAPA conducting sample audits of these sites;
• By signing an annual Partner Declaration to confirm the security requirements stated in the TAPA programme are in place;
• Through mutual recognition by TAPA of parking place operators that have met the requirements of other organisations with TAPA pre-approved and accredited parking security schemes.

Phase 2 will see the addition of a full certification programme with audits carried out by independent audit bodies with recertification every three years. Parking operators will also be required to carry out annual self audits under the certification scheme, which will have three levels.

Jason Breakwell, Vice Chair of TAPA EMEA, said: “The challenges facing transport operators in our region cannot be ignored. We are taking action to help minimise losses from supply chains and to help improve driver safety following the growing number of reports of violent attacks over the past 2-3 years. We want to give our members access to a wider choice of secure parking locations, promote the secure sites that already exist, and encourage other parking owners to raise their security levels to gain new business.

“Cargo crime is not going away. In fact, incident reports to TAPA’s IIS show significant year-on-year increases for each of the first nine months of 2016 and we expect this to be the worst year for recorded freight thefts in over five years in the EMEA region. This is also due to the fact that virtually all products are now at risk of theft from supply chains. The International Road Union (IRU) statistics show that in Europe, 75% of all goods by volume or 18 billion tonnes of products a year are delivered by trucks. That means there is tremendous growth potential for parking operators that respond to the call for greater security from their potential customers.