More tools to fight auto theft in Canada: PATNET launches in Prince Edward Island

HALIFAX, Dec. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - In 2012 over 78,000 vehicles were stolen across Canada.  Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and the Provincial Auto Theft Network (PATNET) are working to fight auto theft more effectively by expanding the PATNET program into more Canadian provinces, with the latest expansion being in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. The launch of PATNET in PEI includes a training session for law enforcement that will focus on vehicle identification and investigation.

"We are delighted to see the award-winning PATNET program expand into PEI. PATNET has helped successfully bring together the law enforcement community to reduce auto theft and fraud in the Atlantic region. We look forward to seeing this program expand nationally and hope it will serve as a model for other jurisdictions," says Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC.

On average, a car is stolen every seven minutes in Canada.  Auto theft costs Canadians millions of dollars a year. The cost to the public is reflected in resulting health care, emergency services, court and insurance costs, which in turn cause increased insurance premiums for all drivers. More seriously, auto theft costs people their lives. Car thieves have no regard for public safety or the rules of the road. Every year, there are deaths and injuries as a direct result of auto theft.

"PATNET is generating more interest among law enforcement agencies than we ever anticipated when we developed the concept in New Brunswick 3 years ago. It was supposed to be a local remedy for local issues. Now it is becoming a model," says Guy Ouellette, Auto Theft Investigator, Atlantic with IBC.

"These types of courses are of great assistance to Enforcement Officers when developing their skills to respond to issues around insurance fraud and vehicle theft," says Graham Miner, PEI Motor Vehicle Registrar.

PATNET received the New Brunswick Crime Prevention Association's Business Excellence Award earlier this month. The award recognizes organizations that have made an outstanding contribution to crime prevention in their communities. By expanding beyond New Brunswick, and nationally in the near future, PATNET is becoming a leading service provider to the police community in fighting auto theft and insurance crime in Canada.

PATNET expanded into Nova Scotia in September, providing initial training seminars to 40 law enforcement officers from across that province. PATNET's success stories include investigations in both Ontario and Quebec that resulted in the recovery of commercial cargo loads that had been stolen in New Brunswick. These successes demonstrate the need for continued knowledge sharing and partnerships between insurers and the law enforcement community.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent approximately 90% of the private property and casualty insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $46 billion.

To view media releases and other information, visit the media section of IBC's website at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook.

SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information:

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.
To schedule an interview, please contact:
Helen Lialias
Media Relations Officer
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-362-2031 ext. 4312
hlialias@ibc.ca


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