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Terror warning for truckers

PUBLISHED: 21:21 08 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:37 03 March 2010

TRUCKERS operating out of Felixstowe are being urged to be on their guard amid fears of possible terrorist attacks in Britain and increasing world tension.

TRUCKERS operating out of Felixstowe are being urged to be on their guard amid fears of possible terrorist attacks in Britain and increasing world tension.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) is sending advice to all its members in the port area to ask hauliers to increase security where possible and keep a close eye on all their operations and procedures.

"The knee-jerk reaction to this issue often tends to be 'it won't happen to me'," said RHA security head Chrys Rampley.

"The fact that a haulier may not be carrying dangerous, hazardous, or goods of high value has become irrelevant.

"Now is the time for all operators to review the security systems they have in place for their vehicles and premises as we have proof that instances of break-ins and vehicle hi-jacks are increasing.

"Reviewing employment procedures is another measure that can make all the difference."

The RHA says the days of a haulage operation, however small, employing drivers on the basis that they say they have the correct driving qualifications must surely be numbered.

Asking for more a detailed employment history on an application form can make all the difference – and enable checks to be made to ensure as far as possible that prospective employees are genuine.

"We are not advocating panic measures, but common-sense now is the answer to a safer future," said Ms Rampley.

Meanwhile, the RHA is still working hard to combat truck crime, which it says is increasing. It held its first Security Seminar, sponsored by Securicor Omega Express, last month to enable major transport companies to come together and address the issue and meet crime experts.

Key issues addressed included the latest analysis of the data from the National Stolen Lorry Load Desk, offender profiles, theft prevention advice, truck parking and police best practice.

In the past 12 months, millions of pounds worth of goods have been stolen from Felixstowe's portside industrial areas, including cigarettes, wine, electrical equipment and designer clothing.

Detectives believe gangs could be working on information or just getting lucky.

Virtually every box coming through the dock contains cargo worth tens of thousands of pounds much of it easy to sell at car boots sales and on markets.

Police have warned drivers that "careless talk cost loads" and say hauliers should not talk about their work or even speculate on what they might be carrying.

They should invest in security systems such as immobilisers, anti-hitch devices and satellite tracking systems, always park in secure areas and leave containers parked against walls or back to back to stop them being broken into.

WEBLINK: www.rha.net

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