Interview with Franco Fantozzi, President of the Italian Working Group Tapa Emea
Theft and robbery against road transport operators in Italy and Europe. Which countries are most at risk?
And which numbers are the most significant? Thefts and robberies against road transport operators increased significantly in Italy and Europe. According to the data collected by Tapa Emea’s archiving and analysis system, 2611 crimes against road transport operators were recorded in 2016, an increase of 72% compared to the previous year. The countries with the highest levels of risk were the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden. And in the first quarter of 2017, with more than 700 accidents already recorded, the trend shows no signs of stopping. As far as Italy is concerned, where just over 60 offenses have been registered over the course of the entire 2016, we should point out that the figure has certainly been understated. There are two reasons behind this: first and foremost, the Police Forces do contribute to the feeding of the database due to legislative restrictions, which does not happen in other countries. But the real reason is that companies tend to hesitate when it comes to denouncing the event.
The use of particularly violent actions by criminals is an entirely Italian peculiarity. Which techniques are most common?
Violent actions, with weapons and actual kidnappings of drivers, do not only happen in Italy. They are common in South Africa and Eastern Europe as well. What is certain is that our country has been refining the technique over the years. The most common methods are: intrusions (cutting the tarpaulin, opening the rear doors), roadblocks, fake police checks. Some novelties are the so-called “Romanian roll” – acrobatic subtraction with moving vehicle – and, of course, the use of jammers and other electronic devices.
In this sense, what are the strategies and solutions to combat cargo crime?
Satellite telematics is undoubtedly decisive, and it is an essential element when it comes to putting together suitable preventive measures against cargo crime, provided, of course, that it is supported by adequate control, verification and intervention procedures. We, the Tapa Working Group, are encouraging the use of the best technological solutions and, at the same time, developing articulated projects and initiatives in the fields of safe parking areas and intervention protocols with the Police Force; in addition, we are promoting the Tapa security standards. In terms of security, some countries stand out more than others.
In short, which countries are the most far-sighted in Europe?
Certainly, the countries of Northern Europe, where safe and certified parking areas are more widespread, and the number of companies that use technologically advanced standards and security systems is greater. In these areas, there is more awareness of the problem than in others. As a result, more projects aimed at preventing and combating cargo crime are being implemented.