By Cam Lucadou-Wells
About 100 number plates were secured with one-way screws during an Operation Safe Plates event at Casey Central shopping centre.
Volunteers from Casey Neighbourhood Watch and Sikh Volunteers Australia installed the screws on shoppers’ vehicle plates as a means to prevent rampant number-plate theft.
During the event, Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill and Acting Inspector Terry Rowlands of Victoria Police helped handout pamphlets at the centre.
Casey Neighbourhood Watch chairman Rob Ward said the police senior officers were “blown away” by the community support for Neighbourhood Watch and the work of police.
About 14,000 number plates are stolen in Victoria each year.
They were often used in petrol drive-offs, robberies and other offences as a means of hiding the offender’s identity.
“While we cannot fit anti-theft screws to every car, every one that is fitted is one less car that can be a victim of this particular crime,” Mr Ward said.
“If nothing else, fitting these screws reminds people that they can take action themselves to avoid becoming a victim of crime.
“Let’s not make it easy for the bad guys.”
Mr Ward said CNW would provide the $200 of donations from the event to Sikh Volunteers Australia, which run a charitable food van in Cranbourne twice a week.