Fast facts

Project name: Operation Remove, Lock or Lose

Organisation: Mitchell Shire Council

Grant fund: Community Safety Fund

Grant amount: $9,100 (plus organisation contribution of $2,100)

Building on the success of a previous crime prevention campaign, Mitchell Shire Council launched ‘Operation: Remove, lock or lose’ to improve community awareness of theft of and from motor vehicles in further targeted locations.

Working closely with Victoria Police and South Mitchell Neighbourhood Watch, council hosted a number of community safety forums throughout the municipality over 15 weeks educating residents about how to reduce their risk of this crime type, and better protect vehicles. Each forum was presented by a local Victoria Police Crime Prevention Officer and focused on vehicle safety both in public places and at home, providing information about the risks of leaving valuables in cars and cars unlocked.

Mitchell Shire Council also developed a resource information pack which was distributed at the sessions to further promote the campaign messaging. These packs contained brochures, fridge magnets, key rings, posters, and stickers for residential bins with messaging to remind residents to remove valuables and lock their cars.

In addition to the pack collateral, posters and signage were placed in high-traffic areas to encourage behavioural change in the broader community to help reduce the risk of this crime type.

Achievements

The forums were well-attended and following positive community feedback, a further two sessions were added to connect with different community groups.  Mitchell Shire Council reported the campaign helped to strengthen relationships between council and the project partners, increase opportunities for engagement with the community and facilitate a broader understanding of community safety concerns across the municipality.

Lessons learned

This project required support at events from volunteers from Neighbourhood Watch, police members and council staff. Some issues arose from the challenge of coordinating numerous members from different agencies, however council indicate that these were overcome through strong communication and regular meetings with everyone involved. 

Operation Remove, Lock or Lose flyer:

If you would like a copy of this campaign material, or to be put in touch with Mitchell Shire Council to help inform your own community safety project, please contact communitycrimeprevention@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)