EDITORIAL: Community has the power to help reduce car thefts

It may sound like it’s all been said before when it comes to preventative crime strategies. And when the crime stats come rolling in its as if we are hearing a repeat of last year’s news. This sense of repetition can dull people to the single greatest expedient that would have a powerful influence on crime and that is individual awareness and action. With lower level crime like theft of and from cars and burglary this sense of indifference is sometimes only shaken when the blithe household itself becomes a victim. 

Not content with breaking into or hot-wiring cars, police continue to report more criminals are entering people’s houses to steal car keys. Much of this is reckless theft of opportunity, sometimes connected to drug use and more often than not committed by young people. Again it points us back to the same small group of offenders and a recurring problem where our recidivist delinquents cause a wildly disproportionate amount of damage and upset in the community while draining unequal amounts of police resources.   

This much has been said before; aggravated burglary particularly when it is predominantly non-confrontational, may not seem alarming but it is certainly offensive enough for anyone who has found someone in their house. The police continue to set down some strong guidelines on how to minimise the risk; locking your cars in the garage as well on the street, locking garage doors and potentially doors that communicate between the house  and garage. There might even need to be some consideration into just where the keys are stored

Police are throwing resources at this and having some success in catching alleged repeat offenders but for every police member there are a thousand residents. 

The crime is driven by opportunity, we have the power as a community to radically reduce it long before the pain and trauma occurs. Isn't that what we all want?