'People are being stupid': Police frustrated by unlocked cars

POLICE JINGLE: Acting Inspector Erwin Hoffmann at the launching of the ‘Lock it or lose it’ campaign.
POLICE JINGLE: Acting Inspector Erwin Hoffmann at the launching of the ‘Lock it or lose it’ campaign. Zach Hogg BUNJIN

THEY have tried the hard line of enforcement and have even gone so far as to establish a rewards system in a desperate attempt to encourage motorists to do the simple task of locking their cars.

But the two very different strategies have proved fruitless in a police bid to crack down on property thefts from cars.

"It's a huge problem in the community and one that's bucking all the other trends," Bundaberg police Acting Inspector Erwin Hoffmann said.

"More than 90% of vehicles entered aren't in fact broken into because they have been unlocked.

"Not only are they unlocked, but they are also leaving valuable items in them."

Acting Insp Hoffmann said it was a great concern that people were continuing to not take responsibility to secure their property.

"Like any crime committed, there is a cost to the community," he said.

"We all end up paying for that person's indiscretion, which could be in the way of insurance premiums or for police resources."

The fed up cop said police had gone through many different strategies in the past 10 months, including publicly appealing to motorists through different forms of media.

"We've even gone down the track of enforcement, a $30 fine - that wasn't very popular and obviously it didn't work," Acting Insp Hoffmann said.

He said crime prevention officers then went down the path of offering rewards - for every properly secured vehicle the owner went into a monthly draw to win movie tickets.

"That was a more popular ticket to get," Acting Insp Hoffmann said.

He said the spike in car break-ins had been ongoing for the past 12 months and that the message of "lock it or lose it" was not hitting home.

"Leaving your car unlocked is just an open invitation," he said.

"People are being stupid.

"They might as well take their gear out of the car and leave it on the bonnet."

Topics:  bundaberg police

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