Loss prevention Q & A - Driver threats

For most drivers, the day-to-day threat of being a victim to curtainside slashing or being subject to a hijacking is not surprisingly a growing concern within the industry. Here we give advice on how to help minimise the risks associated with these occurrences.

Tackling the hijack threat:

  • Some of our drivers are becoming concerned about the risk of their vehicle being hijacked whilst out on the road. Some say there is little that can be done to prevent a hijacking taking place. What advice can you offer to help reduce this risk?

  • There are in fact many steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of hijacking. The advice we would offer includes making sure information relating to high risk thief attractive goods is carefully controlled and known only by trusted and carefully vetted staff. Office staff as well as drivers should only know what they need to know and should only be given that information at the last possible moment.

    Constant varying of routes can help lessen the risk. Drivers should be given very clear instructions as regards where and when they can stop and there should be a process of regular reporting back to base so that the alarm can be raised if a call to base fails to materialise.

    The vehicles themselves can be fitted with appropriate tracking devices and panic buttons. If loads are particularly vulnerable, consider using escort vehicles.

    Very importantly, drivers should be trained in how to identify genuine police officers and vehicles and should be instructed in what to do if a vehicle that looks like a police or VOSA vehicle tries to pull them over. Well worth looking at is the CMPG ParkWise video which can be viewed on YouTube. Our advice would be to ensure that all your drivers get to see this video.

Cutting the cost of curtainside slashings:

  • Our trucks are often suffering from curtainside slashings. The extent of damage is becoming increasingly costly to deal with. What advice can you offer to help prevent this happening?

  • From a risk management perspective, look carefully into why and where these slashings are taking place and think about what measures it might have been possible to take to avoid this type of attack. Plan journeys so that drivers can park up overnight in districts that are considered to be relatively safe and in places where it's well lit, where your truck is clearly visible to other people, where CCTV might offer a deterrent, or best of all at a secure location where entry and exit are monitored. For overnight parking, the likes of secure truck stops can be ideal though not always readily available from a geographical perspective. From a physical protection perspective, it's worth thinking about replacing your existing curtains with slash-resistant curtains such as the Kevlar reinforced 'CurtainSafe' product supplied by TISS.

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