Approach to thefts from cars

State Secretary Fred Teeven today visited a demonstration in Doorn of the approach to thefts from cars by means of the use of decoy cars. Decoy cars are currently used in several municipalities throughout the Netherlands to catch thieves in the act, which is proving to be successful. The national Approach to Theft from Cars will commence as of 1 January 2013.

Each year, one out of every fifteen motorists is confronted with a theft from their car. The damage sustained by society is over € 438 million nationwide. In addition to laptops and mobile phones, thieves are also interested in components such as satellite navigations, airbags and headlight units. Car break-ins are predominantly committed by professional repeat offenders. In doing so, they do not just cause a great deal of damage, but also create nuisance and make citizens feel unsafe.

Decoy cars have already been used in Utrecht, Den Haag, Rotterdam and Amsterdam in order to prevent theft from cars and other municipalities are following their example. The Utrecht police region has shown a reduction of 49% when compared with 2006. The approach is being brought to the attention of other municipalities through the use of road shows and demonstrations. The Ministry of Security and Justice is currently cooperating with the Police, the Public Prosecution Service, the Centre for Crime Prevention and Public Safety (CCV), the Foundation for Tackling Vehicle Crime (ACv), the Insurance Bureau for Vehicle Crime (VbV), the Royal Dutch Touring Club ANWB and the Municipalities on the national rollout of that approach.

The emphasis of the national Approach to Thefts from Cars is on thieves who are after loose components, such as satellite navigation systems, telephones, laptops, seatbelts and car stereos. In addition, the partners wish to halt the rise in the theft of car components. The national Approach to Theft from Cars, which commences 1 January 2013, is intended to achieve a reduction of thefts from cars by 20% over the next three years.