Victoria Police will be able to live-track stolen cars as part of a trial involving hidden GPS tracking devices in Melbourne’s south-east.
Minister for Police Lisa Neville said owners can opt-in to the Vehicle Tracking Initiative by getting the devices installed in their vehicles free-of-charge at participating dealerships in Greater Dandenong and surrounding areas.
Owners will be able to synchronise the tracking device to an app on their smartphone, which will send an alert if the vehicle is moved from a set location.
If the vehicle is stolen, the owner can use the app to alert police who can live-track the vehicle before intervening.
Potential thieves won’t know which cars have had the device installed or where to look given it’s about half the size of a matchbox and can be hidden in multiple locations.
Stolen vehicles are often used in more serious offences like burglaries, ram raids and drug trafficking, so this technology would have a flow on effect, and disrupt a lot of crime and criminals.
The one-year trial is being funded by the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, which has received a two-year funding package of more than $590,000 from the Labor Government.
The National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council will then look to extend the trial across the state, with an evaluation of the initiative to be completed in 2019–20.
New anti-theft super screws, locally manufactured in Victoria, are also being handed out to residents in the City of Hume this month as part of a trial to help reduce number plate theft.
The Labor Government is trialling a series of number plate theft reduction initiatives in the historic $2 billion Community Safety Statement.
Neighbourhood Watch Victoria will hold a series of Safe Plate Days early next year to help distribute the screws.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“The tracking devices are the size of about half a matchbox, which means they can be hidden anywhere on the car. Thieves won’t know where to look for the device, or which vehicles have the technology installed.”
“This trial is part of our record investment to give Victoria Police the resources, powers and technology they need to keep Victorians safe.”
“These devices will act as a major deterrent to potential offenders and provide Victoria Police with up-to-date information about where to recover vehicles.”