By Chris King •
Published: 11 Aug 2023 • 5:00
Image of a French police vehicle.
THE recent wave of thefts from Spanish lorries on French roads has forced the Paris government to take urgent measures.
Specifically, the French gendarmerie has set up the emergency telephone number ’17’ so that hauliers can report lorry theft and police checks can be carried out quickly.
According to sources from Fenadismer, the transport employers’ association, in recent months there has been a considerable increase in theft from lorries on French territory, especially of diesel fuel from vehicle tanks.
As an example, lorries on international routes from Spain usually have their tanks filled with an average of €3,000 worth of fuel. Now, Spanish drivers who are victims of theft on the road, whether of fuel or goods, will now be able to report it through the emergency telephone number.
In recent months, hauliers’ associations have been denouncing a considerable increase in thefts suffered by Spanish lorries in French territory, especially when the vehicles are parked in the parking areas of the main international routes while the drivers are taking their obligatory breaks.
These thefts are focusing on the diesel fuel from the lorries’ fuel tanks, with an approximate capacity of at least 1,500 litres in most cases.
The hauliers normally fill up with fuel in Spain just before crossing the border, as prices are much lower than in the rest of Europe.
Fenadismer and the other organisations that make up the National Road Transport Committee requested the mediation of the Ministries of Transport and the Interior to demand that the French authorities provide Spanish hauliers with the means to report incidents.
‘To date the assistance received has been quite inefficient and complex’ they stressed. They are also calling for sufficient police forces to prevent theft at service and rest stations in the south of France.
Emergency number 17 connects the caller directly with the National Gendarmerie’s Operations and Intelligence Centre (CORG).
Drivers have been advised to remain with their lorry at the site of the theft to facilitate the French authorities’ intervention. By dialling the emergency number 17, a unit will be deployed on the ground for emergency action.
The gendarmerie has units on all motorways and main roads, so it can easily deploy a patrol to the location of the lorry to initiate the first actions and take the driver’s report.
Failing that, the force can indicate the nearest gendarmerie brigade to contact. This procedure is essential when it comes to making a claim with any insurance company, as reported by laopiondemalaga.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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