Vehicle crime is a highly organized criminal activity affecting all regions of the whole world and with clear links to organized crime and terrorism. Vehicles are not only stolen for their own sake, but are also trafficked to finance other crimes. They can also be used as bomb carriers or in the perpetration of other crimes.
Stolen Motor Vehicle Database
The INTERPOL Stolen Motor Vehicle (SMV) database is a vital tool in the fight against international vehicle theft and trafficking.
It allows police in our member countries to run a check against a suspicious vehicle and find out instantly whether it has been reported as stolen. An international database of this nature is crucial as vehicles are often trafficked across national borders, sometimes ending up thousands of miles away from the location where they were stolen.
In 2012, more than 92,000 motor vehicles worldwide were identified as stolen, thanks to the SMV database. By the end of the year, the number of database records had risen to more than 7.2 million.
At INTERPOL, we have set up a number of working groups, bringing together experts from across the world. These working groups have developed a range of projects focusing on specific issues, for example:
- Delivering training (Project Formatrain)
- Working with car manufacturers (Project INVEX)
- Supporting operations (SMV Task Force)
Assessing new trends in vehicle crime
We are seeing evidence of increasing trends in the theft of heavy vehicles and trailers. Evaluations are under way to try to gain a clear picture of the situation and to decide on an appropriate course of action.