December 2019

Issue 60
Merry Christmas!
NMVTRC Councillors and Executive would like to thank you – our stakeholders and readers – for your dedicated support and cooperation in driving our vehicle theft reduction agenda in 2019. Wishing you a very happy Christmas and a safe and festive new year!

Keeping Communities Informed

This October saw the City of Boroondara in inner-Melbourne celebrate Community Safety Awareness month. The local Council hosted a range of interactive events and information sessions aimed at highlighting the importance of collaboration in preventing crime and keeping the community safe. The month culminated in a Community Safety Forum on 30 October for Boroondara residents to learn about how to keep their home, car and valuables safe.

The Chair of the Boroondara Community Safety Advisory Committee, Cr Felicity Sinfield, kicked off the proceedings and acted as master of ceremonies for the evening and presentations were made by a number of keynote speakers.

The NMVTRC was pleased to participate in the event with our Chief Executive, Geoff Hughes, presenting on the dynamics of vehicle crime today– explaining that it is often not just a single crime but at the centre of a more complex mix of offending­– and addressing some of the often-held misconceptions of car theft.

Residents also heard from Inspector Stephen Noy from Local Area Command for Boroondara, who lead the discussion on community safety and initiatives to address crime, welfare and safety in Boroondara, and CEO of Neighbourhood Watch Victoria,  Bambi Gordon, who informed residents of local crime statistics and trends and the ever-changing landscape of crime across the state.

The evening wrapped up with a panel discussion and informal meet and greet with the panel members, providing an opportunity for residents to discuss safety and crime prevention initiatives in their local area.

Welcome to the Board

2019 saw some key changes in the membership of the Council with James Hurnall (Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI)) and Andrew Lee (Austroads) leaving their respective organisations.

Ashley Sanders (below left) has been appointed by the FCAI to replace James Hurnall.  Ashley is a former Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd executive with an extensive background in vehicle engineering and standards compliance.   He has also been a member of the FCAI’s various technical committees and has represented Australia in international fora.   Ashley is familiar with the NMVTRC’s operations having participated in our StratPlan consultations for more than twenty years.

Austroads has nominated Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) executive Andrew Mahon (below right) to fill the vacancy created by Andrew Lee’s resignation. 

Mr Mahon is TMR’s General Manager of Land Transport Safety and Regulation.  Andrew has had extensive interaction with the NMVTRC dating back to 2014 in his then role as Director, Registration and Licensing.  He has also represented TMR on Austroads’ Registration and Licensing Task Force.   

Updated Technical Guides for Written-off Vehicles

The NMVTRC and Austroads will this month publish updates to the technical guides used by insurance assessors and allied professionals required to classify written-off vehicles for regulatory purposes. 

The updated light vehicle guide provides additional guidance on the assessment of contiguous roof and pillar damage and hidden rear longitudinal rail and pillar damage in the smallest vehicles, i.e., a city type car.

The 2018 heavy vehicle guide has also been updated to remove minor inconsistencies between trucks and buses in respect of the treatment of battery packs and power electronics in hybrid vehicles, and the specification of substantial stripping.
The revised guides will be available for download from the publications pages of the Austroads and NMVTRC web sites from 16 December.

Annual Report 2019 & Strategic Plan

The NMVTRC’s Annual Report and Strategic Plan are now available for download. Head to the Publications page of the Carsafe website to download a copy.
Stopping the Spectre of Car Theft

The NMVTRC recently engaged IAG’s Research Centre to evaluate the ‘Ghost’ aftermarket immobiliser as part of its collaboration on e-theft and cyber security risks.

The CAN bus immobiliser, distributed by Dynamco in Australia, enables motorists to encode a unique, changeable PIN using select vehicle controls such as those on the steering wheel, door panels or center console that must be entered in order to start the car.

As part of the evaluation the device was scored on a range of factors including its utility, security and tamper resistance, user-friendliness, ease of installation and value for money in order to provide motorists with independent advice to assist with choosing the most suitable aftermarket security for their vehicle.

Overall, the evaluation found that installation of the Ghost immobiliser provides an effective, added layer of security and has the potential to reduce opportunistic vehicle theft where the car is stolen using the keys.

Click here to download a copy of the evaluation.
How to Stay Safe this Holiday Season

The NMVTRC is urging motorists to be aware of those whose minds may be less on giving and more on taking this Christmas.

The holiday period can be a particularly lucrative time for car thieves. People are often distracted during the day with family gatherings and out at night, leaving the car at home. There are also more people going on holiday and leaving a car behind. These are the sorts of scenarios that provide ample opportunity for thieves to enter homes and steal car keys.

Traditionally, the total number of thefts on Christmas Day itself is relatively low. However, over the past three years January has averaged the highest number of thefts with thefts on New Year’s Day increasing in the Northern Territory, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

Home burglaries to steal car keys are almost always opportunistic, with thieves exploiting poor security practices.

It is not difficult for motorists to greatly reduce their risk of becoming a victim of theft during the festive season – by simply being aware and adopting some common-sense security measures you can help to ensure your car is safe this Christmas.
Theft prevention tips from the NMVTRC include:
  • At home, keep car keys out of sight and away from unlocked windows and doors
  • Enhance your home’s security – a secure home means a secure car
  • Park wisely – use off-street parking where possible or even better, park in a garage or behind lockable gates.
  • If the car is at home but you are out, make sure you have all the keys with you
  • Remove all temptation- never leave valuables in sight in your unattended vehicle
  • Never leave a spare set of house or car keys in your car
For more information on vehicle security at home and to download a free home security assessment guide visit,
Odd spot

A man in South Australia has woken to hear his car being stolen from his driveway.
However, it seems the car was being stolen by Adelaide’s dumbest car thief. The suspect did not notice the angled driveway and drove the stolen car over the boundary retaining wall, tipping the sedan onto its side and into the neighbouring property. The offender then got out and ran from the scene leaving the 2011 Commodore sedan in the neighbouring property with severe damage.

Story originally published in the Adelaide Advertiser and can be viewed here.
Copyright © 2019 National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, All rights reserved.

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