By ALESHA CAPONE
BRIMBANK has been ranked as the number one municipality for car theft within Victoria, according to newly released statistics.
Last week, the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC) released its annual report.
The document revealed in 2012/13, 900 vehicles were reported as stolen within Brimbank.
On a national level, Brimbank ranked as the seventh-highest municipality for car theft across Australia.
Brisbane topped the charts with more than 2020 vehicles stolen.
More than 550 of the vehicles stolen in Brimbank in 2012/13 were classified as ‘short-term’ thefts, meaning they were broken into for purposes such as joy-riding or providing transport to commit other crimes.
The number of short-term car thefts lodged in Brimbank during 2011/12 was more than 650.
Brimbank’s police Inspector Chris Gilbert said although the rate of vehicle thefts in the area was high, the NMVTRC report showed police have been successful in reducing the number of cars stolen in Brimbank across 12 months.
“This is mirrored by our local data,” Insp Gilbert said.
“We’ve done a lot of work to bring these numbers down, a trend across the whole state.
“The national reduction sits at -4.9 per cent over the previous year, ours is more than double that.
“Our raw theft rates are reflective of a large city of almost 200,000 but the rate per 1000 residents is lower than the national average.”
Insp Gilbert said many car thefts committed in Brimbank remained preventable through simple measures such as parking off-street and simply locking cars.
“After-market devices such as steering locks are cheap but very effective,” he said.
Insp Gilbert said Brimbank police officers have been working hard to reduce vehicle theft.
“The enforcement work has been terrific to reduce thefts and we are looking to capitalise on this through greater education around prevention,” he said.
“This is complemented by the focus on preventing number plate theft.”