Final Conference in Ghent, Belgium on 14 December 2023

The V-BAR concluding conference, hosted at Ghent University on December 14, 2023, centred on addressing MVT throughout European Member States. The discussions brought attention to the rapid increase in organised vehicle crime since 2011, with experts emphasising the difficulties of recovering stolen vehicles and the need for improved law enforcement and collaboration among stakeholders. The European barrier model was a significant subject during the discussion, which identifies facilitators and opportunities that enable crime.

The conference also explored specific initiatives and national strategies for combating MVT. The topics covered in the discussion were enhancing the accuracy of MVT data and vehicle identification, the operational techniques employed by MOCGs in France, and the national strategies implemented in the Netherlands and Belgium that emphasise prevention, swift response, and challenges related to GDPR compliance. The discussion also addressed the growing problem of cross-border insurance fraud that has arisen since the implementation of Europe’s free movement policy in 1993, as well as the widespread issue of leasing fraud in France. This highlighted the necessity for a standardised definition of leasing fraud and improved sharing of data between EU MS and the private sector.

The event ended with an agreement on the pressing need to tackle MVT through cooperative, inventive, and comprehensive barriers. A crucial lesson learned is the significance of adjusting prevention and law enforcement strategies to keep up with the changing characteristics of vehicle crime. This emphasises the necessity of continuous research and collaboration between the public and private sectors.