THE VICTORIAN State Government’s decision to legislate against cash payments for scrap vehicles has been hailed as a step in the right direction by the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC).
The move comes against a backdrop of soaring vehicle crime, with the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC), fi ngering Victoria as the vehicle theft capital of Australia, with incidence of that crime having risen by 34 per cent over the past 12 months. A key factor in this trend is the fact that stealing vehicles and delivering them for cash payments has been paying well for the criminals involved.
“Victoria has been experiencing a crime wave of violent carjackings and home invasions in order to steal vehicle keys, with the intention of then stealing vehicles, many of which are stripped down or scrapped by illegal operators. This has been turbocharged because it has been a relatively easy crime to perpetrate and it paid handsomely, with no possibility of tracing the illegal exchange,” said VACC Executive Director, Geoff Gwilym.
According to the NMVTRC’s latest fi gures, 347 vehicles are stolen every week in Victoria.
Of those, 97 vehicles are never seen again. Legislating against cash payments for scrap vehicles and/or vehicle parts will make this type of crime less attractive.
“Vehicles in Victoria are often stolen to order and delivered to unscrupulous ‘businesses’ in exchange for cash payments. From there, the vehicles disappear, often overseas, and authorities have no ability to trace the crime,” said Mr Gwilym.