Sussex tops list of HGV theft hotspots in the UK

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A new study has revealed the regions in the UK where the most HGV thefts happen; according to the figures, Sussex and Hertfordshire were the two worst places in 2020 in this regard.

Sussex tops list of HGV theft hotspots in the UK
Photo credits @ Trans.INFO (illustrative purposes)

Security bollards manufacturer Heald has carried out an investigation into HGV thefts in the UK and following several Freedom of Information inquiries, the company has found that Sussex and Hertfordshire counties had the highest number of theft in the last three years.

Heald has asked for information about lorry thefts in 2020 from 45 UK police constabularies. Of those contacted, 18 failed to respond, and 11 refused to provide the requested information.

According to the company’s insight, Sussex is the top county for the most HGV thefts (87) since 2020, followed by Hertfordshire (67). Police noted 38 cases in Bedfordshire, which is still a high number.

However, the rest of the respondents reported the following significantly lower numbers:

  • 14 cases by Derbyshire Constabulary,
  • 13 cases by Surrey Police,
  • 12 cases by North Wales Police,
  • 9 cases by Humberside Police,
  • 8 cases by Lancashire Constabulary,
  • 6 cases by Lincolnshire Police and the Police Service of Northern Ireland,
  • and 5 cases by Durham Constabulary and Gwent Police.

“Between 2020 and 2022, the South East England county of Sussex had a shocking 87 HGVs stolen within their constabulary. Included in the FOI data provided to us, 10 dropside lorries were stolen over the three years, with five in 2020 and four in 2022. In 2021, four flat lorries were stolen, and 20 tippers were stolen from drivers during the three years,” Heald’s study reads.

Locations from which HGVs were stolen in Sussex include streets/roads, industrial estates, open-air car parks, and lay-bys.

In Hertfordshire, 35 of the lorries stolen were classified as ‘tippers’, and 19 were classified just as a ‘lorry’.

In Bedfordshire, 11 HGVs were stolen in 2020, with 10 stolen in 2021 and 17 in 2022. The towns in this county which were hotspots for HGV thefts include Luton (6), Kempston (4), and Bedford (4). Interestingly, theft locations in Derbyshire (14) included a truck stop, a HGV storage yard, and a service station, the study adds.

“In recent years, truck stops and service stations have been key targets for thieves. In May, two men were charged following stealing £125k worth of chewing gum from a service station in Gloucestershire, while in August, perpetrators stole £250k worth of trainers from a lorry at Lockerbie truck stop,” Heald explains.

The study also warns that vehicles will be filled with Christmas goods can be key targets for thieves over the festive period.

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