Vehicle crime

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 2017, around 118,000 motor vehicles worldwide were identified as stolen, thanks to the SMV database. By the end of the year, the number of database records stood at almost 7.2 million.

Global initiatives

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)

We also organize the Global Conference on Vehicle Crime, bringing together the law enforcement community, international organizations and the private sector in order to share expertise and best practices. The most recent edition of the conference took place in Thailand in February 2016.

Analytical report 

This report presents an analytical overview of vehicle crime in a global perspective. The findings are based on a joint initiative with Europol in which information was submitted by more than 50 member countries. The report will serve as a starting point for future in-depth analysis of the different aspects of international car trafficking.

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