West Midlands Police set up taskforce to combat rising car crime - The Solihull Observer

West Midlands Police set up taskforce to combat rising car crime

Solihull Editorial 7th Nov, 2022   0

WEST Midlands Police made over 40 arrests weeks after setting up a Vehicle Crime Taskforce to combat the rising levels of car theft.

The 25-strong unit has been set up to act swiftly on emerging intelligence on crime patterns and suspects, ramp up patrols in hotspot areas, and carry out operations to close down chop shops which act as a market for car thieves.

The force says the team has a wealth of expertise from officers with local knowledge to experienced detectives and will work alongside existing teams, such as traffic officers, to catch offenders.

The taskforce launched in September and has already led to a number of successes including the number of crime theft reports beginning to drop and police say it has closed down three suspected chop shops.

West Midlands Police say it has received between 250 to 350 car crime reports every week and Detective Superintendent Jim Munro, who heads up the Taskforce, said he understands the anger and frustration of being a victim of vehicle crime – and how he’s determined to catch the gangs who are causing people pain.

He said: “Having a vehicle stolen can cost livelihoods and cause huge inconveniences in our every day lives; from not being able to attend appointments or having to make other arrangements to get children to school. The thought of having a car key burglar in your home is also terrifying.

“So we’ve created this new team to focus on helping to catch these criminals and put them behind bars. We’ll be constantly assessing and monitoring which areas are being targeted in our region and be ready to pounce.

“We’ll have plain-clothed officers supporting our visible police presence and will act on intelligence we receive. We know a large number of vehicles end up in chop shops where they are dismantled for parts and we’ll execute warrants if we suspect illegal activity is taking place in premises.

“We also need the help of the public in driving down vehicle crime by letting us know of suspicious activity, or those involved, so we can act and stop it.”

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said in conjunction with the action taken by the police to prevent and tackle car crime, he is putting pressure on manufacturers to up their game and tighten electronic security systems on cars, to prevent organised car crime gangs profiting from vehicle theft.

For advice on helping to keep your vehicle safe click here.


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