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Motor Vehicle Theft in Europe

NCJ Number
M Liukkonen
Date Published
27 pages
This report presents findings and conclusions from a survey on motor vehicle crime, which was sent to all European countries.
The survey focused on seven topics: statistical background data, registration for ownership, registration of motor vehicle theft or misappropriation, import and export of misappropriated motor vehicles, seizure and return of a stolen or misappropriated motor vehicle, issues in international cooperation, and proposals for the improvement of international cooperation. Findings show that the growth in motor vehicle crime has stabilized in Western Europe, but it is still strong in many Eastern European countries. The turmoil in the Eastern European countries during the 1990s had an impact on motor vehicle crimes; these countries became potential targets for stolen motor vehicles due to the impaired control system and the instability of the social situation. The Eastern European countries, with a limited car stock, constitute a market for stolen vehicles. The West European countries have developed forms of cooperation between both the authorities and the private sector. Motor vehicle registration data systems and data files on stolen vehicles have been automated, and various kinds of international systems for a rapid exchange of information have been developed; some have already been implemented. Proposals for the improvement of international cooperation in this area are offered.