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Restrictions spark dramatic decline in vehicle theft

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The coronavirus pandemic and associated restrictions have led to a significant decline in vehicle theft.

The National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council says there has been a nationwide impact, with 10,638 thefts nationally in the April to June quarter, down 35% from the previous quarter and 26% from the same quarter last year.

The council says there were “sizeable reductions” in most jurisdictions compared to the previous quarter, including 28% in NSW, 30% in Victoria, 39% in Queensland, 42% in SA and 47% in WA.

Theft numbers also fell across all vehicle types. Motorcycle thefts declined 40% while the passenger and light commercial and other vehicles categories were down 34% and 33% respectively.

“The analysis clearly demonstrated an association between the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown restrictions and motor vehicle crime,” the council said.

“However, 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 there will be an uplift in vehicle crime that will extend into 2021.”