Operation SAFEPL8 recently launched by Victoria Police and supported by key industry partners is a community crime prevention program that aims to help Victorians protect themselves from number plate thefts. The initiative is taken forward by Cr. Peter Gibbons of the Wyndham City Council along with the Victoria Police and other industry partners. This initiative aims to help community against crime with a vision of making our homes, streets and neighborhoods safer. SAFEPL8 initiative would provide us all with the information about how we all can play a vital role in reducing number plate thefts to prevent further more serious crimes.
For just three months following the official launch of the initiative, Victoria Police and a wide range of community partners will be actively providing simple things that you can do to help make Victoria safer for the community.
The main purpose of targeting number plate thefts is due to the official 2012-2013 Victoria Police Crime Statistics which showed that there has been over 10,400 reports of stolen number plates received by Victoria Police. Over the past three years they have received an average of 10.000 reports per year, making it one of the most common crimes being reported. Number plate’s theft is more serious than we all think, as the stolen plates can be used further with number of endless crimes such as robberies, house break-in’s, drug trafficking and petrol theft.
Number plate theft also poses an enormous cost to the community as thousands of crimes that are committed each year and thousands of people‘s lives have potentially been affected, both emotionally and financially. Also one of the main consequences of the number plate thefts is that it makes more difficult for the Police to detect, investigate and solves crimes.
The impact of number plate theft can be quite expensive for the vehicle owner as it can incur a fine of $144 and accrue three demerit points if you are seen driving your vehicle without a number plate.
Police is working with local and state government departments, local businesses and community organizations such as Neighborhood watch (NHW) to prevent number plate theft by talking to community to help in preventing this crime and assist Police to fight against it namely by affixing their number plates to their vehicle with anti-theft screws. Police Services Officers (PSO’s) are patrolling railway stations car parks and speaking with the commuters about the role they can play in preventing number plate thefts.
Initiative SAFEPL8 has come up with the one way Anti- Theft Screws that is specifically designed to be fastened with a regular screw driver but it requires a special removal tool to take them out. Affixing your number plates with Anti-Theft Screws can prevent your vehicle from being stolen and further used for criminal offences. For sure it is one of the most thoughtful and great initiative by the Victoria Police and other industry partners towards the betterment of the community on a whole.