Vehicle crime intelligence service faces uncertain future

The future of the police force’s vehicle crime intelligence service, AVCIS, will be decided at the end of this month, just two months after Truckpol was closed down.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Hooper says an “options paper” has been submitted to the Association of Chief Police Officers and a decision on whether or not to ditch the service will be taken in the next fortnight.

DCI Hooper says vehicle theft has fallen in recent years and priorities for police resources are changing.

However, he adds that he wouldn’t be surprised if “vehicle-enabled crime” is included within the scope of the National Crime Agency (NCA), due to be launched next year.

But the Road Haulage Association remains doubtful: “The NCA is going to be like SOCA, for level three crime such as drugs, firearms and trafficking,” says RHA security manager Chrys Rampley. “Vehicle crime does not come under that; it’s level two.”

She adds: “The Truckpol news came just before the end of December, with the ultimatum in January. But even before then we were given a glimmer of hope, before we realised the decision had already been made.”

A spokesman for AVCIS sponsor, vehicle tracking firm Tracker, says: “Like all police force resources AVCIS are having to look at their structure and staffing, in light of the significant financial cuts that have to be made. To date no formal decision has been made and Tracker will continue to work with AVCIS them until we understand otherwise.”

The revelation comes after Nottinghamshire Police announced it was establishing a freight crime division under its national business crime forum.