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The ISR is providing an effective fight against vehicle identity theft

Retainagroup : 24 November, 2009  (Technical Article)
With vehicle theft becoming more sophisticated with changes to identity information becoming more common, Retainagroup is encouraging the use of code marking, etching and registration to make theft more difficult
The ISR is providing an effective fight against vehicle identity theft
"Just how many vehicles on our roads have a stolen identity?" Despite a recorded downward trend in car crime, 66% reduction between 1995 and 2008, Wendy Rowe, Managing Director of Retainagroup has this year seen a significant rise in the number of calls to the International Security Register (ISR) from police, needing to check the details of a suspicious vehicle.

Criminals reason that a vehicle they have stolen needs a new identity if they are going to sell it or use it for another crime and achieve this by changing its number plates, or in the case of professional cloning, the Vehicle Identity Number (VIN) as well, to those of a similar vehicle which has a perfectly legal owner or been 'written off'.

Vehicles marked and registered by Retainagroup have a unique code, the manufacturer's logo and the telephone number of the ISR permanently etched into their windows. The police can check the etched code immediately any time of the day and establish whether it matches the correct details held on the ISR.

This successful vehicle security marking and registration system, established over 20 years ago, protects millions of vehicles against theft, and significantly increases the rate of recovery. Police across the country are given immediate help to clear up crimes which would be impossible to identify without the Retainagroup System and the ISR.

During the last month, amongst a long list of successes, ISR operators detected: a Toyota Land Cruiser with incorrect VIN and registration plate that had been in a Met Police pound for three months; a Land Rover Discovery on false plates in Suffolk; a cloned Lexus LS200 in Essex and a Toyota Avensis abandoned without plates in an overnight car park in Mid Yorkshire.

Another perfect illustration of how the system detects cloning was the seizure of four vehicles by the ports authority in Dubai just prior to release to a local agent representing the importer. The vehicles had been professionally cloned and did not appear on the Interpol stolen vehicle database. Police checked the etched codes with the ISR and 3 of the vehicles were identified as having been stolen. The fourth vehicle had not been marked and registered on the ISR.

Wendy Rowe hopes that insurers will help to defeat the rise in identity theft, by rewarding vehicle manufacturers with a worthwhile benefit for protecting their vehicles against it. She said those companies already marking and registering new vehicles sold in the UK (Alfa Romeo, Daihatsu, Fiat, Iveco, Kia, Mazda, Proton, Saab, Subaru, Suzuki and SsangYong) are demonstrating a real concern for their customers and for police involved in fighting professional criminals.
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