Putting The Brakes On Car Theft And Organised Crime

24 May 2017

The Andrews Labor Government’s crackdown on organised crime has shifted up a gear with new laws to ban cash for scrap metal. This will help drive down car theft in Victoria by removing the lure of quick cash for criminals.

Minister for Police Lisa Neville introduced the Justice Legislation Bill 2017 to Parliament to make it harder for criminals to dispose of illicit scrap metal, including stolen vehicles.

Businesses will be banned from making or taking cash payments and possessing or trading an unidentified motor vehicle, and will be required to keep records of all transactions involving scrap metal.

The new laws ensure there will be traceable information for every transaction, with businesses facing fines of up to $31,000 if they don’t comply.

Victoria Police will be equipped with greater search powers to allow officers to search second-hand dealers’ business or storage premises without a warrant.

They will also be able to enter parts of residential premises that are used for business or storage purposes, and apply for a warrant to search particular premises.

Victoria Police and the Victorian Law Reform Commission have both identified that the scrap metal and vehicle recycling industries are highly susceptible to infiltration by organised crime.

In response, the government committed to banning cash for scrap in its $2 billion Community Safety Statement and has worked with Victoria Police to develop the new measures.

This includes funding for automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology across the highway patrol fleet. ANPR is able to scan up to 2500 number plates an hour, to check for stolen vehicles and motorists with outstanding warrants.

The government will continue to work with Victoria Police and industry stakeholders to examine regulatory options, to support legitimate businesses and protect consumers by preventing criminal activity. Sector-wide consultation to examine these broader options will begin in the second half of 2017.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville

“Banning cash for scrap metal will fundamentally starve the business model of criminals who steal cars.”

“We are doing everything we can to crack down on crime and keep Victorian communities safe. The new laws provide police with additional tools to disrupt the trade of stolen cars and stop organised crime infiltrating the scrap-metal and vehicle-recycling industries.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz

“We are making it harder for criminals to use the auto-wrecking and scrap-metal industries as an avenue for quick cash.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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