National reporting program to crack down on cargo theft in Atlantic Canada

IBC joins forces with RCMP and Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association

FREDERICTON, Aug. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), the RCMP and the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) are joining forces to bring a national cargo theft reporting program to Atlantic Canada.

The Cargo Theft Initiative, which IBC and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) launched in Ontario in 2014, brings together the insurance industry, the trucking community, law enforcement and other stakeholders to raise awareness of the dangers and costs associated with cargo theft and to assist in the recovery of stolen goods. 

Historically, cargo theft has often gone unreported because there are so many different parts of the transportation process that it can be overlooked. The cargo theft reporting program aims to raise awareness about cargo theft crime and bring together various stakeholders to crack down on it.

The success of the program is illustrated in a case that occurred last summer in Ontario. The cargo theft reporting database – the heart of the program – facilitated communication between insurance companies and law enforcement regarding the return of goods. This communication led to a police raid in which the police were able to identify the owners of approximately $1.4 million in stolen goods.  

Quotes

"To fight cargo theft, we must be as organized as the criminals. Cargo theft is not a victimless crime. It is exacting a human toll, costing the Canadian economy billions of dollars and threatening the security of Canadians. This initiative and strengthened partnership will help curb this type of crime and protect people in our communities." – Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC

 "Reporting crime as soon as possible is one of the most effective ways to solve and prevent further incidents. As the police, we need that information. By knowing where and when criminals are active, we're able to investigate and do the analysis required to catch and charge those responsible and help prevent further incidents. The RCMP in New Brunswick is pleased to support this effort to encourage more people to report cargo thefts. By working together, we are helping to make cargo shipments travelling in this province more safe and secure." - Chief Superintendent Wayne Gallant, New Brunswick RCMP Criminal Operations Officer - 

"I am extremely pleased by the joint efforts the RCMP and the Insurance Bureau of Canada have taken to address the growing problem of Cargo theft in our province. It is a major issue across Canada but one that is growing in our province and its affecting our economy, local businesses, our livelihood, and local trucking companies. Cargo theft in New Brunswick represents 10's of millions of dollars and can be as severe as shutting down businesses due to the costs associated with the thefts.  One stolen trailer can be worth up to 250,000 in value, therefore it can put a business under overnight. Truck transportation is the #1 mode to move goods in our province, an industry that is important to our economy and employs over 20,000 people.  It's imperative that we collaborate as a team and develop strategies to solve this problem." - Jean Marc Picard, Executive Director, APTA

Background

Cargo theft involves a sophisticated network of criminals who commit the thefts and distribute the stolen goods. The stolen goods are usually items that people use on a daily basis, such as laundry detergent, T-shirts, dry goods and electronic components. Well-organized systems are in place to move the products for quick sale in the underground economy. Often the products are parcelled out and sold well before the theft is reported. A thriving black market keeps sophisticated and networked thieves in business.

The reporting of cargo theft has been sporadic, which makes property recovery and prosecution a challenge. Although some trucking companies do report their losses, others do not for fear of a damaged reputation, a negative impact on their business and customer confidence, and increased insurance premiums. When losses are not reported, stolen property cannot be identified or recovered, and thieves are not prosecuted.

The effects of cargo theft reach beyond its direct impact on the Canadian economy. Cargo that is stolen and sold in illegal markets shifts revenues from legitimate businesses to criminals and depletes tax revenues. There is also the potential for violence in perpetrating cargo crime, putting the well-being of truck drivers and other industry employees at risk.

The Cargo Theft Initiative began as a pilot reporting project in 2011 in Ontario and Quebec. Working with CTA and member companies, IBC collected, analyzed and shared cargo loss information with law enforcement agencies. The project was an important first step in gathering consistent information on these crimes and led to several recoveries of stolen trailers and consumer goods.

IBC urges citizens to report cargo theft. Anyone witnessing a crime should immediately call the local police. Anyone with general information that would assist in combating cargo theft can call IBC's confidential 1-877-IBC-TIPS line (1-877-422-8477) or go online at www.ibc.ca to fill out a tip form that can be sent to IBC anonymously. 

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.  

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_Atlantic or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: To schedule an interview, please contact: Celyeste Power, Manager, Media Relations, IBC, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312, 647-384-9872, cpower@ibc.ca; Danielle Hébert, Marketing Coordinator, APTA, 506-855-2782, dhebert@apta.ca

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