Police say vehicle theft can be avoided by simply locking the car door.
Police say vehicle theft can be avoided by simply locking the car door. Sharyn O'Neill

Pollies and police claim to have the keys to halt car theft

PREVENTION is better than a cure when it comes to local crime according to local MPs Barry O'Rourke and Brittany Lauga.

The pair are urging people to heed police advice about how to drive down vehicle thefts across Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast.

In January, Rockhampton police launched a 'Lock it or Lose it' campaign to raise community awareness about crime prevention strategies following a spate of vehicle thefts.

In 2018, one third of reported car thefts could have been prevented by simply locking the door, according to police figures released earlier this year.

While launching the awareness campaign in January, Senior Constable Tanya Shield said Rockhampton car owners had become complacent.

"Thieves are simply testing door handles and looking in cars for valuables,” she said.

Mr O'Rourke sought to drill home the calls for greater public awareness.

"Police are providing our community with important tools and strategies to prevent crime in our homes and on the street,” he said.

"Crime prevention is better than cure,” he said.

Mrs Lauga hoped preventative measures could reduce local crime figures.

"We know our police will catch those responsible for crimes but it is so much better if everyone across the community contributes to reducing the amount of crime in the first place,” she said.

"It's those community based groups like Neighbourhood Watch and also Crime Stoppers that really assist the Queensland Police Service in preventing and solving crime.

"That's why we have supported Crime Stoppers with funds in excess of $3.4 million.

"And we back our local Neighbourhood Watch groups with funding to assist with signage, household kits and stickers,” she said.

Berserker, Norman Gardens and Frenchville were identified as "problem areas” for increasing car break-ins by Rockhampton Police.

Senior Const Shield flagged early Monday morning between 3am and 4am as a particularly common time for car break-ins to occur.

The crime prevention strategy implemented in strategy involved police and volunteers testing the handles of parked cars in problem suburbs.

Police conducting the tests reportedly found multiple cars with easily visible valuables and some were left unlocked with the keys in the ignition.

Top 5 strategies to protect your vehicle

  • Always keep your vehicle locked and secured - even if you are only leaving it for a moment.
  • Keep the keys to your vehicle in a hidden location - not on the kitchen bench or a key rack.
  • Remove all valuables from the vehicle
  • Consider installing a steering wheel lock, car alarm or immobiliser
  • Consider installing a GPS tracking device with live monitoring

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