Lock your car, police urge
POLICE are again urging both permanent and summer residents in Torquay and Jan Juc to lock their cars, following a steady rise in reports of theft from motor vehicles.
Acting Senior Sergeant Steve Thompson from Torquay police said there had been a lift in offences not just on the Surf Coast but across the wider Geelong region.
“It’s a timely reminder for people on the Surf Coast to be mindful of that.
“Unfortunately we get targeted by offenders because of our lifestyle, I guess, and people don’t lock their cars down here; they probably feel a sense of security down here that they don’t have to.
“But unfortunately criminals from Melbourne, for example, come down to the Surf Coast to commit crime, because traditionally, people in this area are a bit lax on their security, but unfortunately, criminals take advantage of that and our goodwill.”
He said people should not only lock their cars but also not leave valuables in sight.
“Criminals are opportunists, they will take the opportunity to break into your car if they see something, and if they don’t, they generally move onto the next one.”
Anyone who sees suspicious behaviour or an incident occurring should immediately phone Triple Zero (000) if it is urgent, or the Police Assistance Line on 131 444, or CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.
Acting S/Sgt Thompson said people should also phone the Police Assistance Line or Crimestoppers if they later learned anything about a crime.
“We really do need information, and if we’ve got contemporary information in that way, we can patrol proactively to those areas that are perhaps getting hit, and also identify offenders in that area and act on that as well.
“It’s really important that we have that contemporary information and we can act on it straight away.
“We don’t encourage people to call the police station (in Torquay) because the call has to be diverted to 000 anyway, and when residents call 000, the first available unit and the closest unit will be dispatched to that job.”
He said the significant rise in the population of the Surf Coast over summer also generally came with a corresponding increase in opportunist crime each year.
“Criminals know, because they come down here to holiday as well; and they know people who holiday down here and their usual habits of locking their car in Melbourne or wherever they’re from, people don’t tend to do that.”
Acting S/Sgt Thompson said theft from cars on the Surf Coast was a constant issue, but Victoria Police now offered more ways to people to report crime than before.
“131 444 is a really good avenue for people to use if it’s a non-urgent matter, so we encourage people to do that. There’s also the online reporting as well.”