Skip advert
Advertisement

Jaguar Land Rover pays for more police at UK ports to curb exports of stolen cars

The Range Rover maker spends ‘several hundred thousand pounds’ in effort to thwart stolen car exports from the UK

Ships at port

Jaguar Land Rover is to spend “several hundreds of thousands of pounds” helping to beef up policing at UK container ports, in a bid to thwart criminal gangs currently given free-rein by the lack of police resources.

The firm’s managing director Patrick McGillycuddy and global financial services director Chris Kent shed light on its plan to pay for extra policing at the Felixstowe, Tilbury and Southampton container facilities, during an event in Solihull showcasing the firm’s responses to soaring crime rates and insurance premiums.

Thefts of Range Rover and Land Rover products have been the focus of plenty of headlines in recent months, but Kent says JLR’s unprecedented investment in ports policing addresses a broader problem affecting many in the car industry.
“It feels at this point in time that from a security perspective, the UK could do more,” he says. “This feels like there’s a policing issue around serious and organised crime, and the port security is a real problem for us. The ability to get parts out of the ports, effectively unchecked, is certainly not helping.”

Advertisement - Article continues below

The evidence suggests that most of the luxury cars stolen in the UK, including JLR products, are shipped out of the UK in containers - either as complete cars, with up to four vehicles per container, or broken down into parts.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

“The issue is really centred in the UK, and the fact we’ve got a porous border,” says Kent, who explains that JLR already tracks activity in the Middle East where raids on bodyshops allow them to see parts arriving and being applied to vehicles. He also pointed to container freeports in the United Arab Emirates as a distribution point for cars and parts making their way to West African states or other markets such as Russia.

JLR has for the last two years operated a Vehicle Theft Reduction Group, which works closely with police in the UK to monitor and respond to specific threats or vulnerabilities in JLR vehicles. According to one group member, an indication of the ease with which criminals can export stolen cars and parts is that the UK can muster a total of three vehicle crime police officers working for the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service at UK ports - that’s just one each at Felixstowe, Southampton and Tilbury.

Advertisement - Article continues below

McGillycuddy says it’s essential that the Home Office and police departments direct more resources to targeting the gangs, and reject the premise that insurance payouts mean it’s effectively a victimless crime.

“Everyone’s insurance has gone up by 40, 50 per cent. Everyone pays, so this is why we are determined to tackle this at the root,” he says, adding that JLR’s cash injection will go directly towards increasing police resources on the ground.
“How do we stop the theft of cars, not just our cars, everyone’s cars? How do we make policing the ports more robust, so it’s a lot more difficult to get parts and stolen vehicles out of the country, reducing the desire to steal our products or anyone else’s? We need to make it a higher priority, because people are suffering the trauma and inconvenience of their cars being stolen. Moreover we’re all now paying more for insurance, as a result of it being viewed as a ‘no harm’ crime,” he says.

JLR’s solution is to invest its own money into ports policing, says McGillycuddy, with the cash being targeted at police resources “looking at organised crime, more boots on the ground, and understanding how the criminals operate”.

Asked how he felt about having to pay for the police to carry out tasks many think they should be doing anyway, he told Auto Express: “It is what it is. We’ve got a problem and we can help solve it, so we will.”

Click here for our list of the best luxury cars...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

New Freelander EV brand born from Jaguar Land Rover and Chery partnership
Land Rover Freelander
News

New Freelander EV brand born from Jaguar Land Rover and Chery partnership

Co-developed models will initially be built for China, expanding into global markets later
19 Jun 2024
Driving test wait times up another 20% as DVSA plan is failing
Learner
News

Driving test wait times up another 20% as DVSA plan is failing

The promise that DVSA is ‘taking all measures it can to reduce waiting times’ rings hollow as waits increase by 20 per cent
17 Jun 2024
Labour to restore 2030 ICE ban, but fuel duty hike on the cards
Labour party logo
News

Labour to restore 2030 ICE ban, but fuel duty hike on the cards

The Labour Party’s manifesto promises support for the EV manufacturing industry and used electric car buyers, as well as an investigation into high in…
13 Jun 2024
EU threatens Chinese electric car tariffs of almost 50 per cent
XPeng G6 - front cornering
News

EU threatens Chinese electric car tariffs of almost 50 per cent

New tariffs would be imposed on top of pre-existing duties in an aim to override “unfair” subsidies by the Chinese government
12 Jun 2024

Most Popular

No more EV! New BMW X3 gets petrol, diesel and PHEV power only
BMW X3 - front
News

No more EV! New BMW X3 gets petrol, diesel and PHEV power only

The all-new premium BMW X3 SUV has a sharp new look and cutting-edge tech, but no iX3 EV this time around
18 Jun 2024
New Citroen C3 Aircross gets seven-seats to fight Dacia Jogger, plus £25k pure-electric version
Citroen C3 Aircross - front reveal
News

New Citroen C3 Aircross gets seven-seats to fight Dacia Jogger, plus £25k pure-electric version

Citroen has somehow managed to cram seven seats into its new compact SUV, although the pure-electric e-C3 Aircross is only available with five
19 Jun 2024
Ford Explorer review
Ford Explorer 2024 - front
In-depth reviews

Ford Explorer review

Ford’s long-awaited electric SUV drives well, has some neat touches and impresses for efficiency
21 Jun 2024