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11th November 2015 - Press Release

Port Police Officer Hailed for Fight Against International Vehicle Crime

PC Ian Thwaites has been hailed for his role in stopping criminal gangs from smuggling stolen vehicles across international borders through the Port of Dover.

Since April 2014, Port of Dover Police and the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) have joined forces to intercept stolen vehicles entering and leaving the UK. In that time, over 80 vehicles have been recovered with an estimated total value in excess of £1 million pounds.

PC Thwaites has been instrumental in the operation’s success and now Combined Industry Theft Solutions (CITS) will present him with a special Construction Equipment Security and Registration (CESAR) award for his contribution to the fight against European auto crime.

Paul Wilczek, the Port of Dover Police Chief Officer, said: “There is a story of anguish behind every piece of stolen property we recover. International auto theft doesn’t only have a major impact on the victims of car crime - it often funds international criminal gangs as well.

“PC Thwaites’ work, however, has sent a very clear message to criminals – ‘if you come through this port, you will be caught’.”

The actions of PC Thwaites have been so successful that the Port has a warehouse with a growing collection of stolen and recovered vehicles, engines and valuable spare parts that would have otherwise been part of crime rings involved in the theft, dismantling, rebuilding and eventual resale or exporting of stolen motor vehicles.

Ian Elliott, chairman of CITS, said: “The huge amount of stolen property that PC Thwaites has recovered has had a massive impact on the organised crime networks operating throughout the UK.

“Each year, the CITS Board presents a number of awards to individuals who have done the most to reduce crime and been proactive in reducing the effects of theft.”


Notes to Editors:

  • The port handles 13 million passengers, 2.5 million freight vehicles and £100 billion of UK/European trade.
  • The port supports 22,000 jobs, many of which are in the local community.
  • It has a shared vision to protect and enhance short and long term port capacity for the nation while delivering the catalyst for the regeneration of Dover.
  • The Combined Industry Theft Solutions (CITS) forum is a group of stakeholders from the construction and agricultural industries, whom include manufactures, insurers, police, the Home Office, construction and utility companies and the hire industry who meet to create best practice and strategies to reduce crime for those sectors. It was this group that assisted the creation of the Plant and Agricultural National Intelligence Unit (PANIU) and the Construction Equipment Security and Registration (CESAR) scheme.


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