Government scraps anti-theft team

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A team of government officials tasked with cutting vehicle crime has been judged to have achieved its goals and broken up.

The Vehicle Crime Reduction Team has been disbanded following a reported 51% fall in overall vehicle crime but the Government has no idea whether motorcycle theft has dropped or not.

The Home Office’s most recent bike theft figures are for 2003 and show a fall of only 5% since 2001, compared to a 23% fall for cars in the same period.

The figures show the motorcycle theft rate is almost four times that for cars. According to the Motorcycle Industry Association, bike theft rates have not dropped since.

The Home Office said there were no plans to publish new research on motorcycle theft because it was not deemed important enough.

A spokeswoman said: “As part of the reorganisation of the Home Office it has been decided that the Vehicle Crime Reduction Team will be disbanded. The reason for that [is that] obviously the strategy has been extremely successful.”

Asked how successful the team had been on motorcycle theft rates, she said: “The brief was for all vehicles and it’s been successful in that.”

She said figures for bike theft in 2003 were the most recent available because: “The Home Office has limited resources for research and obviously it has to prioritise.”

See the full Home Office figures, including details of how at risk bikes are by cubic capacity, here: www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/r269.pdf

To see what impact industry experts think the news will have on bike theft, get MCN, May 30, 2007.

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Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell