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Police should explore commercial

partnerships to help combat vehicle crime

Sponsorship is a word the police do not like to use very often, much preferring the term ‘commercial partnership’ but it’s OK because the public knows it means more or less the same thing and the police know today they need help from the commercial sector however it’s described.

With money hard to find for the plethora of requirements needed to run a Constabulary nowadays it makes perfect sense

to form partnerships with the business world providing of course there is no impropriety and that’s the rub, for that is what

the police fear the most.


It’s always been a question of trust of course and it still is naturally inherent with the decision makers that any assisted

‘door opening’ and ‘the greasing of palms’ could occur. It remains the reason why so many good ideas have previously

fallen by the wayside, even with the promise of 100 full time scrutineers watching every step of any proposal 24/7.


All credit to some constabularies however as applications for ‘Business Partnership Managers’ are surfacing around the

UK offering any suitable applicant, as a few job offers have stated ‘a remit to maintain a partnership and contracts register

whereby both organisations can identify the commercial benefits of the arrangements in place ensuring the benefits are

realised and maximised. To implement and ensure compliance with a contract management framework that supports both organisations to maximise the benefits of the contractual arrangements in place for third party service providers.’


The vote is split on whether this would be a good or a bad move but we are reassured that in the foreseeable future a constables handcuffs will not be sponsored and stamped ‘courtesy of Gotcha Locksmiths’ or his/hers new uniforms will have the ‘Virgin’ logo on the pocket they keep their ‘Supermarket’ sponsored (sorry) partnered evidence note book, or their Tasers are marked Amazon.

But would it really matter anyway if it simply meant that we would see many more officers and police vehicles, probably patronised by BMW, on our streets making us all feel a lot safer.

The plea for more money, officers and equipment has previously fallen on deaf ears but even with today’s promises of reinforcements it has still shaken the senior police ranks into thinking now is the time that these commercial liaisons might just work although clearly partner vetting will be strict.

That said this next year should be interesting to see which household name has secured a valuable place somewhere within the world of law enforcement.


Police officers are never backwards in coming forward voicing their opinions on suitability and no doubt suggesting that they already do work hand in glove with private partners. For example the stolen vehicle tracking companies, dubbed the officers’ best friend when searching for stolen vehicles, have proved transponder tracking devices have indeed been responsible for recovering 90 per cent of them that have devices fitted to them.  Their professional support teams have shown a willingness to assist police 24/7 in tracing and recovering stolen vehicles for which they officially get little recognition, relying solely on social media for their public approval.


Powerful insurance company investigation units have also proved they are already completely on a par with the police in dealing with fraud, vehicle and property crime investigations and will clearly take on a more proactive role in the future freeing up valuable police time to carry out their more proactive work. No publicity either for these companies who rarely get credit for financially sponsoring (sorry backing) much of the groundwork needed to get prosecutions to court.

Similarly, banks and credit companies too are following suit loaning their investigation, liaison and support units to the police to share investigations to reach that satisfactory conclusion often without a mention.


Vehicle hire and rental companies, who have been badly targeted by the scammers in the past and still remain a major target for the fraudsters, were forced to create their own active investigation and crime support teams as have our once establishment, now private forensic laboratories who each offer their experts to deal with crucial identification evidence.

Best practice

The list is long from authorised contractors particularly working in vehicle movement, examination, collection and repatriation, locksmiths, data companies and other manufacturers; are who all sharing their own best practice with police they work with daily; they need to be recognised for their contributions many of which are being offered freely to the police with no public accolade or acknowledgment. 



The priorities of today's policing are those that all of us now realise and valuable commercial partnerships have to be seriously considered for they will clearly play not just a financial part in the future of police work but present a realisation that these likeminded partnerships all want to be recognised as part of the team that’s striving for the same thing.

By Dr Ken German, Vehicle Crime consultant

Dr Ken German

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