Cross said: “Vehicle crime is on the rise, and vans make up a significant proportion of the UK’s annual numbers, which unfortunately paints a grim picture for the nation’s fleet operators.
“According to Comparethemarket.com the annual rate of thefts involving vans in the UK is tipped to reach as high as 20,000 by 2030 – a rise of 62 per cent.
“Record-high fuel prices are also contributing greatly to the worsening crime issue, with a number of reports suggesting that fuel theft is once again on an alarming upward trajectory – potentially costing fleet operators thousands per year.
“While the current situation may appear bleak, there are however ways and means in which operators can mitigate the chances of their vehicles becoming an unfortunate addition to the ever-rising statistics.
He continued: “It’s a well-documented fact that across a range of settings that CCTV has decreased the potential for crime by 13 percent, therefore why should vehicles be any different?
“Operators who implement vehicle CCTV and telematics technology onto their vans will get a real-time view of a van’s load space, exterior and cab interior, which in turn will not only provide further protection to drivers but will also increase the chances of identifying perpetrators in the event of a break-in, act of vandalism, theft of customer goods, fuel, parts, and even the van itself.
“Integrated systems such as those that we supply to customers also provide real time monitoring alerts if vehicles have been driven out of a particular area, or even if the vehicle’s fuel level drops.
“Furthermore, adopting such technology will also go a long way to reducing the occurrence of fraudulent insurance claims, giving them peace of mind that their vehicles are being monitored 24/7, providing total visibility across their entire fleet. Equally, if a crime is to occur the recorded footage from the camera systems, which will be automatically uploaded to the end user, will be able to be used to remove any headaches by streamlining the claims process.
“As a former operator of over 30 buses the pains and worries of vehicle crime and insurance claims are all too familiar. In fact, such pain points are what led to the birth of Centrad, which was launched to increase vehicle safety and ultimately save operates thousands per year – which today couldn’t be more vital as the squeeze from rising costs becomes ever-tighter for today’s operators.
“With operators already being forced to incur increased costs throughout their entire operation as a result of the current cost of living crisis, mitigating the potential for theft, vandalism and expensive claims by taking proactive steps to boost security and visibility across their fleets is therefore vital. As without such technology in place, they are opening themselves up to a host of issues, from vehicle and driver downtime, increased insurance premiums to potentially staggering financial costs.
“The cost-of-living crisis, a widespread automotive parts shortage and rising fuel costs has all come to a head at once, leading to a sharp spike in vehicle crime. It’s therefore vital operators respond in kind to this hike by putting the appropriate measures in place that will prevent any potential costly and damaging implications occurring as a result of vandalism or theft.”