Volkswagen’s ever-expanding network of van centres are set to add another string to their bow, offering TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery systems to new and existing customers, with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle UK’s approval of TRACKER Retrieve and TRACKER Monitor in an exclusive deal.

As a result of the collaboration, bespoke TRACKER systems have been developed solely for fitment to Volkswagen commercial vehicles and Volkswagen technicians, at van centres across the country, are undergoing specialist training in order to fit the equipment. Customers will be able to order the systems to be fitted on their new vehicles or on existing ones.

TRACKER, which is operated by all 52 of the nation’s police forces, works as an electronic homing device, secretly hidden within vehicles. When activated in the event of a theft, it emits a silent radio signal that can be picked up by detection equipment fitted in police vehicles leading them to the vehicle’s exact location and sometimes the unsuspecting thieves.

Chris Smart, after sales marketing manager at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: "No vehicle is theft proof but after working in collaboration with TRACKER’s technicians we firmly believe this provides an excellent last line of defence for our customers. This new addition to our van centre repertoire confirms our commitment to provide the best products and services to our customers."

According to the Home Office’s most recent statistics*, one LCV is stolen for every 50 on the road and businesses lose £152 million worth of assets each year as a result of these thefts, independent of other associated costs, such as increased insurance premiums, additional transport costs and lost business.

Since 1993 TRACKER has helped the police retrieve more than 1,826 stolen commercial vehicles, worth almost £28 million, and leading to the arrest of 407 thieves. The system is currently approved by 34 vehicle manufacturers and is fitted to 469,000 vehicles in total in the UK. TRACKER has also been accredited by the Association of Chief Police Officers – the first stolen vehicle recovery company to achieve this status – is a partner with The Home Office to help to try and achieve the government target of reducing vehicle crime by 30% by 2004 and is supported by ABI Insurance companies and Lloyds syndicates.

TRACKER’s stolen vehicle recovery systems range includes TRACKER Retrieve (£199**) where the owner contacts TRACKER if the vehicle is stolen and TRACKER Monitor (£299**) where a remote sensor in the vehicle alerts TRACKER HQ if the vehicle is illegally moved. Both systems are operated via land based radio signals. TRACKER Horizon (£499**) operates as Monitor, but also utilises satellite positioning technology as well as land based radio signals to provide the most comprehensive stolen vehicle tracking system available in the UK.

*Crime Detection and Prevention Series Paper 88 – The Nature and Extent of Light Commercial Vehicle Theft by Rick Brown and Julie Saliba (1998).

**All prices exclude installation and subscription, but include VAT.

Published : 27/05/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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