Question to the Home Office:
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to reduce (a) theft of a vehicle, (b) theft from a vehicle, (c) trespass on public or private land with a vehicle, (d) alteration of a vehicle with the intent to cause anti-social behaviour and (e) other crimes and anti-social behaviours involving vehicles.
The Government is working closely with police and motor manufacturers through the National Vehicle Crime Working Group, chaired by the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for vehicle crime, to tackle theft of, and from, vehicles, including catalytic converters. The Metropolitan Police Service is represented on the Working Group, and a network of vehicle crime specialists from every force in England and Wales shares information about emerging trends and how to tackle regional issues.
The Home Office funded the set-up of the National Infrastructure Crime Reduction Partnership, which is ensuring the national co-ordination of policing and law enforcement partners to tackle metal and other theft. The partnership shares intelligence to target offenders, and implements crime prevention measures. The British Transport Police, through the NICRP, has conducted three national weeks of actions resulting in 92 arrests, over 2,000 site visits, over 1,000 stolen catalytic converters recovered, and the catalytic converters of over 3,000 vehicles forensically marked. This has helped to promote awareness, with over 1,000 officers trained in enforcement powers to deal with scrap metal dealers, and has seen a significant reduction in catalytic converter thefts. The Metropolitan Police Service have also co-ordinated their own operations to tackle these thefts.
The Government is working with partner agencies to ensure effective use of powers in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, to tackle all forms of anti-social behaviour including involving vehicles. The statutory guidance was updated last year to ensure a victim-centered approach to tackling ASB. ASB is one of the primary crime and issue types being targeted in the fourth round of the Safer Streets Fund.