Cargo theft is described as a rapidly escalating crime that is costing Canadians an estimated $5 billion every year. The insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), the Canadian Trucking Alliance and Peel Regional Police announced the expansion of a pilot project established in Ontario and Quebec in 2011. The Cargo Theft Initiative allowed IBC to collect, analyze and share cargo loss information with law enforcement agencies throughout the two provinces. It was announced on Tuesday that the data sharing program would be expanded to include all of Canada.
"This expanded and improved reporting process will help prevent crimes and lead to faster recovery of stolen goods and prosecution of cargo theft criminals," said Garry Robertson, National Director if IBC's Investigative Services.
David Bradley of the Canadian Trucking Alliance stressed the cargo theft is not a victimless crime and affects us all.
"Because it increases the cost of goods sold. And given that trucks haul 90% of all consumer product and food products, that's what hurts you. But I think that more than that though is the link with organized crime. So you're not only involved with cargo crime here but these are the drug syndicates, prostitution, terrorism and the like who live off the avails of this sort of crime." said Bradley.
Members of the Peel Regional Police service were also on hand for the announcement and said that the program will go along way towards helping officers on the frontlines.
"It will assist us in identifying goods. When our officers stop a tractor-trailer or they're in a fleamarket and see a load of what they believe to be stolen goods, but are unable to track it because it hasn't been properly reported to the police or to the victim companies. So that will help us moving forward is investigating these crimes. It's difficult to arrest and prosecute somebody for stealing something if you don't know it's stolen." said Superintendent Bob Devolin.
The information gathered by the Insurance Bureau of Canada will be shared with law enforcement partners throughout Canada as well as the Canadian and American border agencies.