5 May, 2020
Gunnedah Shire Council is reminding the community to stay alert and vigilant when it comes to vehicle security.
Gunnedah police have advised of a surge in vehicle thefts, including where perpetrators have entered residential and business premises to obtain vehicle keys.
Mayor Jamie Chaffey says he was disappointed to learn of a rise in vehicle thefts in the Shire, particularly at a time when the community is feeling the impacts of COVID-19.
“After a personal experience with this issue, I was frustrated to hear from police that this was part of a community-wide rise in vehicle theft,” Cr Chaffey said.
“These crimes are devastating for our community. I will continue to work with police until we see this activity cease and offenders identified.
“Reducing crime requires a collaborative approach from government, police, the community and individuals. I am confident we can all work together to tackle this issue and build a safer, stronger community.”
Councillor Fuller, chair of Gunnedah Shire Council’s Crime Prevention Working Group, has joined calls for increased community vigilance and says when it comes to reporting crimes, it is best to play it safe by reporting any suspicious activity.
“Keep your eyes and your ears open and make sure you’re reporting all crimes to the police, including property damage or graffiti,” Cr Fuller said.
“Minor offences pave the way for larger crimes, so early intervention is the best approach, especially for young offenders.
“If reporting a crime puts you in a difficult situation, you can choose to remain anonymous and police are here to help.”
In addition to reporting suspicious activities, there are preventative measures the community can adopt to reduce opportunities for vehicle theft. These include:
- When you leave your car unattended, even for short periods or at home, close all windows, remove the key from the ignition and lock all doors,
- Ensure that you have removed all property from view, especially phones, clothing, bags and money in consoles when you leave your car,
- Store keys in a safe location. At the workplace keys should be locked away. At home keep your house locked and don’t leave keys in prominent locations like key holders or hallway tables,
- Don’t leave personal papers such as licence or registration in your motor vehicle. They may be used by the thief to dispose of your vehicle, and
- Anyone with CCTV installed at their residence or business should register with the NSW Police database to aid investigations and collection of evidence. Register online at https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/online_services/register_my_business_cctv_details
Gunnedah Shire Council will continue to work with local police and the community to prevent crime. Further information about Council’s Crime Prevention Plan is available at http://www.gunnedah.nsw.gov.au/index.php/community/community-health-safety/community-safety/item/933-gunnedah-crime-prevention-plan-2018-2022
To report a crime or suspicious occurrence, phone the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Reports can be made online by visiting https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/
Media contact: Eliza Gallen (02) 6740 2100.