STRATEGIES that could help reduce Victoria’s burgeoning car theft will not be implemented because of a funding withdrawal.
The state government will not fund the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction council despite the increase in theft.
The council collects specific data and commits significant community grants to councils.
Director of Strategy and programming Geoff Hughes said the funding withdrawal was “staggering”.
He said Ballarat was one of the state’s top 12 car theft hot spots – and was the second worst regional location for car theft, just behind Geelong. A ground-breaking centre for young car offenders from across the state in North Melbourne, is also at risk of closure.
The Synergy Energy program helps to rehabilitate and educate young recidivist offenders and has been funded and operated by the NMVTRC.
Mr Hughes said NMVTRC had facilitated the investment of more than $500 million by third parties in vehicle crime reduction measures, making a major contribution nationally by lowering theft volumes by 60 per cent. The decision to scrap the funding was made last year in an inquiry.
Mr Hughes said the council had continued to develop further research in the belief that the funding would be reinstated.He said many top police officers had told him they were disappointed in the decision. The state government remains committed to crime reduction.
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