Commercial vehicles a target for fake accidents

Published:  22 December, 2009

LONDON: Merchants and other commercial vehicle operators in Greater London are at high risk of deliberately induced road collisions said the Metropolitan Police.

Organised criminal groups are targeting companies who operate vehicle fleets within the M25 area by deliberately causing collisions in order to defraud their insurers. Operation Catcher is a Metropolitan Police initiative, intended to identify an offence when it happens, prosecute the offenders and, as a result, reduce the incidence of this type of crime.

Drivers that suspect they are victim of an induced collision should call police on the non-emergency number 0300 123 1212 and request an OPERATION CATCHER response. Drivers should not inform the other vehicle driver that police have been called and then exchange insurance and other details including the names and details of all passengers.

Typically, the criminals will use two cars to target their victim. These cars will get ahead of the company vehicle in steady moving traffic, the first will then brake hard or make an unexpected manoeuvre, this will cause the second car to brake hard (often using the handbrake to avoid alerting the intended victim) and result in a collision.

The first car will make off while the second, now damaged car will stop. The occupants of this second car will make a point of blaming the car that has made off and appear to sympathise with their victim. Driver details are often already written down and insurance and registration documents are carried in their car.

The driver will speak English while the other occupants do not.

For more information contact the Road Crime Intelligence Unit on 0207 161 1011 (Mon - Fri).

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