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Towards a Secure System is the concept of applying a Secure System approach to combating vehicle crime. The approach takes a holistic view of the dynamics of vehicle theft and the interaction between vehicle design, motorists’ perceptions and choices, offender behaviour, and government and industry practices to minimise the opportunity for theft to occur, increase the likelihood and consequences of detection, and increase the effort and risk required to profit from stolen vehicles.


Following sustained reductions for more than a decade, many parts of Australia are now experiencing rapid increases in vehicle related crime.

Much of this increase has been associated with an unprecedented level of violence and reckless driving behavior. Widely publicised aggravated home invasions, violent road incidents and armed robberies, often committed by repeat young offenders, are causing considerable community anxiety.

The insurance industry is experiencing significant increases in claims costs due to the loss and damage of higher value vehicles and the emergence of sophisticated frauds utilising accident and repair scams.

Responding to these emerging dynamics in vehicle crime presents significant policy and operational challenges for governments, police services, the justice system and the private sector.

The Australian Vehicle Crime Conference is hosted by the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, Victoria Police and the Australasian Branch of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators to examine the underlying dynamics of these emerging trends and to explore possible mitigation strategies to combat them.

Conference themes and presenters

Tuesday 4th April

Theme: Responding to Youth Crime

On any day there are around 1,000 young people held in juvenile detention nationally and a very high proportion of them are as a result of motor vehicle offences. Detention is costly—keeping a young person in secure care costs more than $440,000 a year—and its impact on post-release re-offending is open to debate. The perception is that offenders are often returned to the community without the skills or support required to stay away from crime. But exactly how does the system work and what are the viable alternatives?

Theme: Disrupting the vehicle laundering and separated parts markets

As whole vehicle laundering has become almost impossible to execute without dedication, the dismantling or stripping of major components has become increasingly more attractive and less risky for car criminals. Criminal networks are also now more likely to dispose of the stripped shell by crushing or shredding rather than simply abandoning it.

Gaps and anomalies in the way the separated parts and scrap metal markets have been traditionally regulated across Australia have allowed criminal ‘theft for scrap’ rackets to flourish with little risk of detection.

  • Detective Superintendent Murray Chapman, NSW Police, Reforming the Scrap Metal Trade in New South Wales
  • Geoff Gwilym, Executive Director, VACC, An Industry Model for the Management of End-of-life vehicles
  • Amanda Bird, Senior Tax Specialist - Complex Investigations, Australian Tax Office, Following the Money

Wednesday 5th April

Theme: Building stakeholder and community capacity and promoting innovation

The consequences of vehicle theft are felt strongly by local communities. Vehicle theft and home burglary go hand in hand – more frequently we are seeing vehicle keys being stolen via house burglary and stolen vehicles are often used to transport stolen property. Car theft often results in extensive damage to property and sometimes, tragically, in the injury or death of innocent road users.

Organised crime groups that have historically focused on stolen vehicle laundering are increasingly expanding their operations into vehicle related fraud adding tens of millions of dollars to claims costs.

The business sector, local government, crime prevention and community safety groups all perform vital roles in combatting vehicle crime. The NMVTRC therefore maintains a major focus on building stakeholder capacity, community resilience and promoting innovation via new technology, communications and knowledge sharing projects.

  • Ray Carroll, Executive Director, NMVTRC, Burglaries to Access keys (the New Permanent state) and how Motorists Perceive Vehicle Crime
  • Brian Negus, General Manager, RACV, Broader Advocacy
  • Samantha Hunter, CEO, Crimestoppers Victoria, Optimising the Reach and Effectiveness of Collaborative Communications
  • Lisa Rudd, Community Development Officer, Glenorchy City Council, Tackling Vehicle Crime in Local Communities
  • Robert McDonald, Secretary General, RCAR, Theft by Wire: Facts V Fiction
  • Dave Shelton, VicRoads, The Future of Vehicle Identity (presentation not available)
  • Detective Chief Inspector Oliver Little, City of London Police (IAATI Speaker), Genuine Theft or Collision vs Fraud
  • Keir Bielecke, Policy Advisor- Risk, Insurance Council of Australia, Insurance Industry response to Motor fraud (presentation not available)
  • Rob Bartlett, Executive Manager, Suncorp, The Lawyer, the Smash Repairer and Car Napping Rort

IAATI Training Day - Thursday 6th April

  • Hans Kooijman, IAATI International President/Manager Claims Investigations, Allianz Netherlands, IAATI – An International network for Vehicle Crime Investigators
  • Detective Senior Constable Luke Simpson, Motor Unit- property Crime Squad, State Crime Command, NSW Police, Strike Force Jardine-a case study (presentation not available)
  • Robert Ishak, Co-founder and Chairman, William Robert Lawyers, The Power of Negotiation- how to use Neuro Linguistic Programming to relate to your clients and understand their perspective
  • Keir Bielecke, Policy Advisor- Risk, Insurance Council of Australia, Emerging trends in motor vehicle insurance fraud (presentation not available)
  • Detective Chief Inspector Oliver Little, Insurance Fraud enforcement Department, City of London Police, Establishing the IFED- the hurdles faced and lessons learnt
  • Dr Kate Grimwood, Forensic Sales Manager, XTEK, Non-destructive examinations of vehicle identifiers
  • Nigel Carson and Tim Myers, Partner and Director, KordaMentha Forensic, Digital evidence in vehicle crime cases
  • Stephen Tully, MVA Investigations, Forensic Mechanical Investigations
Conference schedule

To download a copy of the detailed schedule of the 2017 Australian vehicle crime conference please click here.

To download a copy of the Post Conference Communique and Outcomes Summary please click here.

You may have noticed we had the Australian Financial Security Service on hand to discuss the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR)

Don’t know what a PPSR check is?

For further information check out the links below: