Tue, 14 Apr 2009
AVCIS, the Association of Police Officers Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service, is warning motorists to be vigilant when purchasing a second-hand car. The DVLA first announced that there were a large number of stolen blank V5C ‘Registered Keeper’ documents in circulation in February 2007. Although AVCIS has recovered vehicles in excess of 700 vehicles with a total value exceeding £6.5 million, the unit is concerned that there may be a significant number of these documents still in circulation.

“Given the current economic climate, people are on the look-out for a good deal, and this only serves to assist criminals who will exploit this. People may think that they have bagged the deal of the century; but it could turn out to be disastrously expensive,” warns Head of AVCIS, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Lambotte. “It is imperative that people make as many checks as possible before committing to purchasing a second-hand vehicle. If the deal seems too good to be true, then take time to consider all the facts.”

The stolen V5Cs are used by criminals as proof of identity for the vehicle to sell stolen cars and vans. When the stolen car is purchased, a genuine V5C document is provided with the car, which, like everything else, matches the details of the stolen car. However, although the document seems genuine, the information is false. Only later does the victim discover the vehicle is stolen when their new car is confiscated by police and they are left without compensation.

The stolen V5Cs are recognised as having a slightly different background colour on the Notification of Permanent Export (V5C/4) tear-off slip on the second page, which looks mauve on the front and pink on the reverse. On legitimate documents they should be mauve on both sides.*

Serial Numbers:
BG 9167501 - BG 9214000
BG 8407501 - BG 8431000
BG 9282001 - BG 9305000
BI 2305501 - BI 2800000

“There is often no way of tracing the seller of the stolen vehicle as they use a false name and address and often meet the victim at a pre-arranged location,” says DCI Lambotte. “This means that the purchaser will loose their money and their vehicle. When buying privately, always meet the seller at their home and check the history of the vehicle by making enquiries with one of the commercial agencies available, using the VIN number. Do not rely on the registration number shown on the documentation or the vehicle. Ask to see any other documentation, service papers, invoices etc. Never meet sellers in remote locations, such as car parks, service stations. If in doubt do not buy the vehicle and keep hold of your cash.”

It is recognised that 'traditional' vehicle crime, such as theft of or from vehicles is no longer regarded as a policing priority by most forces. Therefore, under the guidance of the Association of Police Officers (ACPO) portfolio lead for Vehicle Crime matters, the ACPO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (AVCIS) was launched on 15th December 2006 and is based in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warwickshire within the NIPA (National Policing Improvements Agency) site. The unit was initially funded by the Home Office, through the ACPO Acquisitive Crime Board and answers to Deputy Chief Constable David Ainsworth, of Wiltshire.

AVCIS does not exist in isolation, but operates within a complex and dynamic environment where national priorities are changing and high-level strategies require constant interpretation and reinterpretation. AVCIS works with partner agencies and all stakeholders within the trade and associated businesses to provide the most effective response. AVCIS speaks for the UK policing in respect of vehicle enabled crime matters.

AVCIS incorporates a number of specialist functions including TruckPol, the national freight crime intelligence service, and the Vehicle Fraud Unit who investigate organised finance fraud.

AVCIS offers the UK Police Service:

• A single point of contact for advice in relation to vehicle crime
• A team committed to tackling vehicle enabled crime
• An opportunity to work free from the barriers and constraints of a single police
• No draw on resources for other operational matters
• A credible voice for the service within the industry
• A new concept with the full backing of the ACPO and therefore definition of all
police forces in the UK

AVCIS – The Facts**
• AVCIS have recovered in excess of 1,200 vehicles
• The total value of recovered assets exceeds £30 million
• AVCIS have made 190 arrests

*DVLA Issues Stolen Vehicle Warning
**AVCIS data on file

More at

E-mail Contact


Add a comment


Value my car

Save £75 on Warranty using code HJ75

with MotorEasy

Get a warranty quote

Save 12% on GAP Insurance

Use HJ21 to save on an ALA policy

See offer