There were more cargo crimes reported in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region to the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) in March 2019 than any other month on record.

TAPA reported 514 incidents in March, a 264.5% increase compared to the same month the year before. Three countries reported more than 100 incidents in March: Sweden, France and the UK.

The majority of crimes involved theft from vehicles, which represented 55% of the total, while theft from unsecured parking locations totalled 45% of the overall incidents in March.

The largest single incident was in the UK, where nearly €2 million worth of perfume was stolen from a secure facility in Oxfordshire after the perpetrators smashed through entry gates using a tractor unit.

The most dramatic crime took place in Kampala, Uganda. The driver of a secured vehicle carrying cash and two accomplices drugged the food of two security guards with sedatives, before making their escape in a separate vehicle. Police intercepted the criminals’ vehicle and shot dead two of the suspects before recovering the stolen cash.

To combat this rise in crime, TAPA has initiated three programs which set standards and certify secure facilities, trucking operations and parking locations.

Under TAPA’s Facility Security Requirements (FSR) program, 697 facilities were certified across the EMEA region in 2018, while 169 manufacturers and logistics services providers were certified for the Trucking Security Requirements (TSR). These represent an increase of 9% and 32%, respectively, versus 2017.

The latest secure parking standard called PSR (Parking Security Requirements) has just been launched, and the first facility has received its certification in France.

“Of course, there is still a massive amount of work to do to get more companies to adopt our security standards, ” said Anthony Leimas, Chair, TAPA Americas.