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Economic downturn ‘will lift vehicle thefts’

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Australia’s motor vehicle theft rate rose 2% last financial year despite a large decline in April, May and June during COVID-19 related social and travel restrictions.

Economic recession is likely to keep theft levels elevated, the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC) says.

“With the ongoing financial impact of the pandemic and an established correlation between the performance of the economy and crime generally, it is almost certain the current uplift in vehicle crime will extend well into 2021 at a minimum,” its latest update says.

Nationally, motor vehicle theft increased by 1090 to 56,312 in the year to June 30. Total theft volumes were up in the ACT, Queensland, Victoria and SA.

Heavy/other vehicle thefts recorded the largest increase of 4%, followed by a 3% rise in passenger/light commercial vehicle (PLC) thefts while motorcycle thefts fell 3%.