The North Shore Area Police Command has issued a warning about securing your houses, apartment and cars to avoid theft.
The Lane Cove Council will discuss ways to avoid property theft at their first 2023 Lane Cove Council Meeting next Thursday.
At the November 2022 Lane Cove Council meeting, property crime in the Lane Cove area was raised and it was recommended that Lane Cove Council hold a meeting with the North Shore Police Local Area Command to discuss the use of security cameras in catching criminals and options for the protection of property for both residents and businesses over the Christmas period.
On Monday, 19 December 2022, the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Merri Southwood and Susan Heyne (Manager of Community Services) met with Senior Constable Dominic Trevor and Senior Constable Michael Alexander from North Shore Police Local Area Command.
This meeting was held to discuss the possible installation of security cameras at the entrance/exit points of the Lane Cove LGA and/or other methods that would assist Police in catching criminals and the development and implementation of an information campaign for residents and the business community to assist them in protecting their property over the Christmas period.
North Shore Area Police Command advised the use of cameras at entry and exit points in a specific area is not standard practice. There are costs involved not only in the installation but also in the monitoring and maintenance of the cameras. The NSW Government has a grant program targeted at small businesses to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) however, Lane Cove is not one of the Councils included as an eligible Local Government Area.
Local businesses that do have CCTV cameras installed are able to register their cameras with the police through the police website.
The Police suggested that resources would be better used in other areas that would create better outcomes. The main area suggested was community education.
Most of the reported crime in Lane Cove is property crime. Approximately 60% of homes broken into in Lane Cove were unlocked, and approximately 65% of vehicles where items had been stolen were also unlocked.
The Police suggested educating the community about locking up their property and other precautions residents and businesses can take would provide better outcomes. Following the meeting, North Shore Area Police Command provided Council with information on how to protect property and this information was shared with the public through Council’s social media and other communication platforms in the lead-up to Christmas and the holiday period. In the Cove has been disseminating this information for several years and last year made several posts about checking your property before you go to bed.
ITC suggests that there needs to be more than education via social media and newsletters. There needs to be information stands in the Lane Cove Plaza and at neighbourhood shopping centres and parks (while sport is being played).
Number Plate Switching
In November last year, ITC was advised by a roving reporter about a number plate switch. A resident noticed their car’s number plates had been switched. The new number plates were not securely fastened, and the front and back number plates did not match. The car was parked on the street in central Lane Cove (not far from the Lane Cove Village).
Police advised that criminals would steal a car. They will then look for a vehicle like the one they have stolen and switch plates. When police use number plate recognition technology, they will not be aware a car is stolen. The stolen car is then used for another theft or a break and enter.
If you park on the street, park near street lights. Always check your car is locked and that you don’t have any valuables on display.
After we warned our Facebook readers about this incident, the following comments were posted:
North Shore Police Area command recommended that Lane Cove Council promote the installation of anti-theft screws designed to make removing number plates more difficult.
There have been campaigns in the past to encourage vehicle owners to use the anti-theft screws and Neighbourhood Watch groups have held ‘Safe Plate’ events to change over the screws for local community members.
Lane Cove Council will investigate whether holding an event for Lane Cove residents could help reduce the incidence of number plate theft.