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Big fall in car conversion, theft ex-car rates

Big fall in car conversion, theft ex-car rates

Rates of car conversion as well as theft from cars have dropped dramatically in the last eight years, Police figures show.

Police Minister George Hawkins says figures for calendar years ending 31 December 1995 and 2002, show recorded car conversion offences nationally totalled 50672 in 1995, compared with 38824 in 2002.

“The story for recorded theft ex-cars is also pleasing, with rates virtually static at 53659 in December 1995 and 53662 in December 2002,” Mr Hawkins said.

In March 1995, there were 2.4 million licensed vehicles in New Zealand, compared with 2.8 million in March 2002. These included cars, rental cars, miscellaneous including tractors, exempt vehicles, taxis, service coaches and trucks.

A range of factors, including close circuit television monitoring, especially of public car parks and railway commuter parking areas, as well as dedicated police car squads responsible for identifying repeat offenders, had contributed to the fall Mr Hawkins said.

Increased response to burglaries helped both rates, as burglars were often responsible for car conversions and thefts from cars.

Mr Hawkins said the public should also be congratulated for the role they had played.

“Gone are the days when people regularly left cars unoccupied with the keys in the ignition and the motor running,” he said.

The public was now much more aware of the need to take, simple, practical steps to protect their property.

“These include not leaving items in cars where they can be readily seen by potential thieves, locking valuables in the boot and making sure unoccupied cars are locked,” Mr Hawkins said.

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