Auto theft fraud amounts to a $1-billion price tag for Canada each year, $542 million of which is paid by insurers for repair and replacement costs. New nation-wide initiatives have been brought forth to combat auto theft and fraud, the most recent of which to launch in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada has announced it is bringing its tried-and-true auto Provincial Auto Theft Network (PATNET) program to Canada’s eastern-most province by reaching out to those on the front line of fraud – law enforcement officers.
A comprehensive two-day training initiative will focus on hot topic issues such as the cloning of vehicle ID numbers, improper use of salvage, as well as proper evidence handling and auto-crime search warrants.
“This type of course will be of great assistance to our officers and partners,” states Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Chief of Police Bill Jaynes. “It will enhance their skills when responding to complaints of insurance fraud and vehicle theft. The program exemplifies the value of sharing information and partnerships between insurers and the law enforcement community.”
The IBC reports 73,964 cases of auto theft in Canada in 2014; according to Statistics Canada, 479 and 76 occurred in Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, respectively.
“We are delighted to launch this award-winning program in Newfoundland and Labrador,” stated IBC Vice President Amanda Dean in a press release. “Since PATNET began operating in 2010, it has been an important tool that has successfully helped law enforcement reduce auto theft and fraud across Canada, and it continues to grow.”