The Halton Police Board in Ontario has called on the federal government, automobile manufactures, and the auto insurance industry to collaborate in addressing the surge of vehicle thefts across the country.
The board, which provides strategic governance to the regional police service, presented its resolution during a June 29 meeting, emphasizing the need for collective commitment amid reports that there were over $1 billion worth of stolen vehicles in 2022.
“Within Halton itself, there were 1,302 reported auto thefts in 2022, marking an alarming rise of 49.3 per cent from the previous year,” said board chair Jeff Knoll. “In the first three months of 2023, vehicle thefts were at 421, which is a 77.7 per cent increase over the same time frame in 2022.”
The board presented a series of actions for the federal government to take, including providing increased funding, resources, and legislation to support law enforcement agencies in their efforts.
Other proposals include leveraging the Canadian Border Services Agency and the RCMP to inspect shipment containers before departure from ports and enacting legislation to mandate theft-deterrent technologies in new vehicle models.
In this regard, the board highlighted the importance of collaboration between automobile manufacturers and law enforcement agencies in sharing information and best practices, as well as establishing robust tracking systems and rapid response protocols for stolen vehicles.
Similarly, the insurance industry was also urged to play a pivotal role in mitigating Canada’s auto theft problem.
In its resolution, the board called on insurance companies to collaborate with automakers to incentivize the inclusion of theft-deterrent technologies through reduced premium rates.
The industry was also urged to support public awareness initiatives regarding vehicle security and the impact of auto theft on insurance premiums.
“Most of these are preventive measures, but others are federal response matters to help mitigate the impacts of this horrible epidemic we have in this country,” said Knoll. “I hope that by way of our police board taking a strong stance on these initiatives, we can get other boards to do the same.”
According to the Oakville Beaver, the resolution will be distributed to various government officials and organizations, including the federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Attorney General of Ontario, Halton’s MPs and MPPs, and Halton Regional Council.
Industry bodies such as the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Équité Association, and the Canadian Association of Police Governance are also set to receive a copy.
The Canadian Finance and Leasing Association recently shed light on the country’s vehicle theft crisis, citing organized crime as the main cause for the rising number of stolen cars.
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