Ontario police services and partners appeal for increased enforcement measures at 2024 Auto Theft Summit

Posted On Wednesday March 20, 2024

Region of Peel – On March 20, 2024, Peel Regional Police in collaboration with a joint management team, hosted the second annual Auto Theft Summit. The joint management team comprised of:

  • Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS)
  • Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS)
  • Hamilton Police Service (HPS)
  • Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS)
  • Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)
  • Toronto Police Service (TPS)
  • York Regional Police (YRP)
  • Criminal Intelligence Service of Ontario (CISO)
  • Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP)

The Summit is a platform for law enforcement agencies, government officials, auto manufacturers, insurance industry and advocates to collectively tackle the issue and address vulnerabilities that are contributing to auto crimes.

This year’s Summit hosted more than 150 stakeholders and built on the progress made since the 2023 Auto Theft Summit, which brought together stakeholders for the first time to address the issue. The objective of this year’s Summit was to explore innovative solutions and expand on the measures to tackle organized auto theft.

“Organized auto theft has become an epidemic across many jurisdictions in Ontario and it has escalated into a complex national issue, impacting the safety and well-being of our communities,” said Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah. “While we continue to dedicate significant policing resources and see positive results in the work, we also need solutions from government, automotive and insurance industry to vulnerabilities that are contributing to auto theft.”

In 2023, the collective data between Peel Regional Police (PRP), Ontario Provincial Police, Toronto Police Service, York Regional Police, Durham Regional Police, Hamilton Regional Police, Niagara Regional Police, and Ottawa Police Services shows a 116% increase in stolen vehicles since 2019. Jointly 15,757 stolen vehicles were recovered valued at over half a billion dollars ($545 million).

In Peel, over 7400 vehicles were reported stolen in 2023 – an average of over 600 per month. Over the last two year, a total of 185 carjackings were reported and one which unfortunately resulted in a homicide.

To address the rising number of violent incidents in auto theft, police services in Ontario established a Provincial Car Jacking Task Force (PCJTF). To date, the PCJTF has laid over 730 criminal charges and recovered more than 150 vehicles, including the seizure of numerous firearms. Provincially-led operations by CISO and OPP have also resulted in over 1400 criminal charges and the recovery of more than 900 vehicles.

“Organized auto theft is among the top three revenue generators for criminal organizations. It represents a growing and serious threat to public safety and puts police officers at risk as individuals committing these crimes are using increasingly dangerous ways to evade capture and eventual arrest. Our police services are working together with governments, community groups, and corporate partners to find effective solutions to this criminal al activity” said Chief Jim MacSween, President, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.

Auto Theft Summit 2024 concluded with recommendations calling on strengthened enforcement at impacted ports of entry and targeted legislation and sanctions to curb organized crime. Additionally, continued collaboration between police services, auto manufacturers, insurance bureaus and government partners were also highlighted to build greater awareness on auto theft. View the full recommendations or any relevant information here.

The Summit was supported by alliance partners, including the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA), Canadian Finance and Leasing Association (CFLA), Canadian Vehicle Exporter’s Association (CVEA), Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA), Équité Association, Global Automakers of Canada, Lyons Auto Body Ltd., OnStar, Policaro Group, Tag Tracking, and TD Auto Insurance/Auto Finance.

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