Police launch operation to help prevent thefts from HGVs

Police are urging drivers and service station staff to be vigilant to help prevent thefts from HGVs – as an operation is launched to deter such crimes.

Officers in Cumbria are placing extra focus on these offences over December and through the winter as there is sometimes an increase in thefts at this time of year.

This is due to the longer nights providing increased opportunities for thieves, who use the darkness to target HGVs.

Thefts tend to happen most often at lorry parks at service stations.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Myers is overseeing Operation Meridian.

He said: “HGVs and their loads can be valuable – and criminals know this, so will look to target vulnerable vehicles and loads to steal them.

“Criminals see the longer nights as offering increased opportunities for such thefts, using the cover of darkness to target vehicles.

“We aim to prevent such offences all-year-round but will be increasing proactive patrols due to the extra risk at this time of year.

“They will be aiming to offer reassurance and deterrence. We will also continue to proactively target offenders.”

DCI Myers has asked HGV drivers and people working at service stations to play their part too in preventing these crimes.

He added: “Our patrols will be speaking to HGV drivers to let them know about our operation, as well as letting them know the risks and how to help prevent thefts.

“We will also be engaging with staff at service stations so they know what to watch out for as well.

“We want people to follow some basic crime prevention advice – but also report anything they believe to be suspicious.

“Information such as descriptions of suspicious people and vehicles, as well as registration numbers can help us catch those responsible for these thefts and prevent further incidents.”

Some tips on preventing freight thefts:

Be secure:

  • Always secure your HGV when you leave it – lock and set alarms.
  • Always take your keys with you – never leave them in the cab.
  • Lock your cab when loading or unloading.
  • Do not leave your personal property on view in the cab.

Plan ahead:

  • Avoid taking the same routes or stops for breaks. A recognisable pattern makes you an easier target for criminals.

Park safely:

  • Park your lorry where you can see it.
  • Park in well-lit locations.
  • Park with loading doors close to another vehicle or wall. When returning to your lorry, check for signs of any interference.

Always report anything suspicious – it could protect your HGV and deter thefts in future.

Anyone with information relating to HGV thefts can report online at www.cumbria.police.uk/report-it

You can also phone on 101.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


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