Cargo crime will rise due to recession

THE global economic downturn will lead to an increase in incidents of cargo crime, warns the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA).

Latest statistics from the Association’s Incident Information Service (IIS) for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, show 3,756 reported incidents of cargo crime during 2008 with a total loss value of more than €170.6 million (US$214 million). This figure will continue to grow with incident data still being collated for last year.

Just over 10 per cent of crimes reported in 32 countries in EMEA in 2008 were classified by TAPA as ‘major incidents’.

Gilad Solnik (above right), IIS lead for TAPA EMEA, said: “The figures we are starting to see for 2008 reinforce our message that no one can afford to be complacent about cargo crime. We expect the level of threat to increase considerably as a direct result of the economic downturn.

“Organised criminals targeting high-value products moving in supply chains remain the greatest threat but businesses also need to be more alert to the risk of opportunist thefts from ad-hoc and first-time criminals. We know from previous recessions that crime increases. UK government statistics, for example, reported a 19 per cent increase in violent crime during the recession of the early 1990s. We expect 2009 to be one of the toughest years of the last decade in terms of cargo-crime statistics.”

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