By Armando Forgione, Central Director for the Traffic Police, Railway, of Communications and Special Departments – STATE POLICE
Crime in road freight transport leads back to the attempt of stealing goods in the course of transport – or even storage- phase. Such a phenomena has become increasingly important over the years and has seriously affected the rules of global economy. Consequences go beyond economic issues; the negative impact on free movement of goods and the potential public health danger derived from a ‘parallel market’ of –for instance- foodstuffs and medicines stolen during aggressions present crucial tasks as well. Typical modes of theft include cutting truck tarps and covers during overnight stays in parking lots or forcing trucks tailgates. The majority of attacks occur in service or parking areas, but it is not un common for vehicles to be assaulted while moving; trucks are forced to slow down and finally stop by other drivers placing in their routes. In this case, drivers are often seized, and released only when stolen goods have been transported to a ‘secure’ location, with the clear purpose of delaying the drivers’ police report and ensuring advantage on law enforcement. Here then is where info-telematic tools become indispensable for protecting means of transport and goods; today, large trucking fleets are generally equipped with company protocols and devices whose complexity can vary according to the different security levels assigned to transported goods. In fact, satellite systems will generate automatic alarm based on motion detection, detect and report unauthorized back and front door opening or trailer uncoupling. They will provide driver identification service, stop the vehicle and turn off the engine in the event of failed authentication, allow the 24/7 Operations Centre to prevent the starting of the engine to facilitate recovery operations and send emergency alarms in the event of robbery or danger. Technology therefore represents a strong deterrent in support of the capillary action of territorial control and investigative activities, given the fact that about 40% of arrests take place in flagrante delicto.