Pilot for recovering stolen cars more quickly

Minister Opstelten of Security and Justice today launched the pilot involving a more rapid identification of stolen cars. The idea is that the number plate is registered as stolen both nationally and internationally within two hours after the car has been reported as stolen. The accelerated registration is necessary as many stolen vehicles are taken out of the country within just hours. At this time it still takes an average of five days before the theft of a car is registered in the vehicle registration system and the Schengen Information System (SIS).

Faster identification is possible as a result of the closer cooperation between insurers, the police and the Government Road Transport Agency (RDW). After the report of a theft, insurers immediately generate an electronic report that is then sent to the National Vehicle Crime Information Centre (LIV)Inaddition to cars, this  is also done for trucks, motorcycles and other vehicles with a number plate. Upon receiving the digital report, the LIV files a corresponding report in the police registration system. Faster identification increases the chance of catching car thieves. Moreover, it ensures that the police receives accurate information about the manner in which a vehicle has been stolen.

Faster registration also shortens the term within which the owner of a stolen car or another vehicle can still be held liable. Within one day, the RDW will send the owner a declaration stating that the number plate has been withdrawn and the owner is no longer liable. Moreover, the owner of a stolen vehicle no longer has to visit the police station to submit a report.

 The pilot will commence on 1 February in the Brabant Oost police district and will have a term of six months. State Secretary Teeven signed a covenant for this purpose on behalf of the minister in Zoetermeer with the RDW, the police, the Dutch Association of Insurers and the Insurance Bureau for Vehicle Crime.

Each year, approximately 30,000 vehicles are stolen in the Netherlands with an annual cost of claims of 205 million euros. Approximately one third of the stolen vehicles is recovered. The approach will be introduced nationally if the pilot is a success. It is expected that the number of  stolen vehicles recovered will increase by ten per week nationwide.