About the initiative
The number of number plates stolen in Victoria rose from 16,075 in March 2016 to 21,000 in March 2017, an increase of 40 per cent. Number plate theft can enable serious crimes such as robbery, ram raids, house break-ins, drug trafficking and petrol theft and makes it harder for police to detect, investigate and solve crimes when the identity of a vehicle is hidden.
The Victorian Government’s Community Safety Statement 2017 (CSS) noted the increase in number plate theft and outlines the government’s commitment to working with partner organisations to trial a series of number plate theft reduction initiatives to determine those that best reduce this high-volume crime.
Working in partnership with Victoria Police, the Victoria Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) and Neighbourhood Watch, the Department of Justice and Regulation is running a local trial in the City of Hume to raise awareness of number plate theft and its impact and to support residents to reduce the risk their plates will be stolen. This is the first step in a broader Government plan to reduce number plate theft across the state.
Residents of Hume City Council are able to contact the local participating VACC member or attend a Neighbourhood Watch Safe Plate Day to have one-way screws affixed to their number plates free of charge. For a list of participating VACC members see below.
Having your plates stolen is more than just an inconvenience
If your plates are stolen you will need to report it to the Victoria Police before attending a VicRoads Customer Service Centre and pay to have a new plate issued, change your registration details and provide this information to tollway companies such as East Link/City Link, parking companies, and you car insurance company.
Offenders may accumulate considerable fines in your name and unfortunately the burden would be on you to prove you did not commit these offences.
Driving a vehicle without displaying your number plates could result in a fine of $144 and accruing three demerit points.
How you can reduce your risk of number plate theft
Number plate theft can happen anywhere, however it often occurs in poorly lit areas such as public car parks or residential streets. There are a number of ways you can reduce the likelihood of your number plates being stolen:
- Have one-way screws affixed to make it harder for thieves to remove your plates.
- When parking your car consider the safest location possible. One of the best ways to keep your car safe is in a locked garage, in a driveway or otherwise a well-lit area.
- Consider installing sensor lights in your driveway to deter offenders. White light is best for clarity of vision.
- Trim trees, bushes and plants to ensure you can see your driveway from the house.
- Consider locking gates, putting up front fences and establishing garden beds to outline your property to would be offenders.
- In public areas, consider parking in secure car parks. These car parks have added safety measures such as security patrols and CCTV cameras.
- Check your vehicle regularly to ensure your number plates are secure.
- Join your local Neighbourhood Watch group, visit http://www.nhw.com.au/Get-Involved to find a group in your area and make your community a safer place to live.
I live in the City of Hume, where can I get these one-way screws from?
Attend either a Safe Plate Day or book in for a session at one of your local VACC members to have one-way screws affixed for you.
Participating VACC members
|Techno Motors||5 West Crt||9308 5501|
|Mantello Holden||215 Somerton Rd||9930 4444|
|Active Motor Repairs||6 Walters St||9308 2162|
|Leo Street Automotive||18 Leo St||9359 4952|
|Signature tyres||1257 Sydney Rd||9359 5556|
|Ashfords Automotive Repairs||18A Blenhein St||9306 8947|
|Mantello Hyundai||41 Reservoir Drive||9305 9305|
|Sunbury Tyre Service||24 Station St||9744 4841|
|Sunbury Automatics & Mechanical||5/65 Horne St||9744 1523|
|Mantello Holden||93 Horne St||9740 3000|
|Startamotive Mechanical Repairs||8 Sussex Crt||9744 7077|
|Torque Tyres & Brakes||3/149 Mickleham Rd||9338 0277|
|Tullamarine Service Centre||24 Carrick Dr||9338 0144|
|Allpoint Autogas||19/85-91 Keilor Park Dr||9330 2699|
|Westmeadows Service Centre||36 Fawkner St||9338 4307|
Neighbourhood Watch plays an important role in our community in regards to crime prevention and community engagement and awareness.
Neighbourhood Watch will be running a number of Safe Plate Days across the municipality over the next 12 months. These are a great way to find out more about Neighbourhood Watch and its activities, as well as to have one way screws attached to your car.
See below details of Safe Plate Days:
Date: Sunday 18 March, 2018
Location: Bunnings Craigieburn
Date: Sunday 6 May, 2018
Location: Bunnings Broadmeadows
Date: Sunday 16 September, 2018
Location: Bunnings Sunbury
Details of further Safe Plate Days will be announced soon and information is also available on the Neighbourhood Watch website at www.nhw.com.au.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are one-way screws?
Number plates are normally affixed with standard screws, affixing one-way screws to your number plates makes it harder for your plates to be stolen. One-way screws are affixed with a regular flat head screwdriver however require a specially designed tool to remove them. The screws used in this trial were designed and manufactured in Victoria, supporting the local economy. They also offer a higher level of protection than other screws currently available on the market.
Why was Hume City Council selected for the initiative?
Hume City Council is one of Australia’s fastest growing and most diverse communities. The municipality was selected to participate in this initiative due to the high rate of number plate theft in the municipality. Between June 2016 and June 2017 there was a total of 1,124 number plates reported stolen across Hume City Council.
What if I don't live in Hume City Council?
If you live outside of Hume City Council you can purchase one-way screws at a range of retailers including major hardware stores and petrol stations.
Will I still be able to remove my number plate?
Most people never need to remove their numberplates. There are only few circumstances when you would need to remove your number plate such as a move interstate, selling your car, when your plates are damaged or when affixing a custom plate. Should you need to remove your number plate after they have been affixed with one way screws, please visit your local mechanic.
My number plates have been stolen, what should I do?
In the event of number plate theft contact your local police station as soon as possible. If you have any other information or see anything suspicious contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.