Increasing lorry crime in Europe is a problem comparable with the drug trade, says Freight security company TRI-MEX.

It said there were two to three robberies reported a day and 200,000 attacks occurred in 2001.

"We need to tackle the crime and act when it happens and get the police

to respond," said TRI-MEX managing director Peter Vyvyan-Robinson. He said criminals were taking advantage of a lack of communication in policing the problem.

"There is a complete disconnection between policing and cross border flow of goods and services," he said.

"This creates a fabulous environment for criminals and insurance premiums are escalating."

Vyvyan-Robinson said criminals usually crossed borders and there was a question as to which local authority should take responsibility for dealing with the theft.

He said TRI-MEX was a key partner of the police national stolen lorry load desk. This year the company launched a tracking system called Eurowatch, which connects the system to the police in the area where the crime was committed.

"Eurowatch was created to plug the gap in communication, which was growing rapidly," said Vyvyan-Robinson.