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New report: microdots slashing car theft up to 86%

New report: microdots slashing car theft rate up to 86%

The application of thousands of tiny microdots to cars in Australia – a policy being delayed in New Zealand by motor distributors’ court action – is seeing theft rates fall by between 77 and 86%.

A just-released report on a study by the Australian National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council shows the microdots, each containing a vehicle’s unique vehicle identification number (VIN), are having a major impact in deterring organised car crime.

The study compares vehicle theft rates of three models of marked and unmarked vehicles which have been stolen and not recovered. Based on police theft figures from as early as 2001, the study reveals thefts of BMWs fell 77% compared to unmarked vehicles, Holden HSV thefts fell 84% and Subarus 86%.

The vehicles were sprayed with thousands of DataDots from DataDot Technology Ltd. Organised crime, believed to be behind the up to 7000 unrecovered vehicle thefts each year in New Zealand, find it impossible to find and remove all the dots, each the size of a grain of sand.

Police can identify parts from stripped cars as a result of this whole of vehicle marking (WOVM).

In December 2005 the New Zealand Government announced it would adopt WOVM as part of a suite of vehicle theft reduction policies. It was due to start in July this year, but the Motor Industry Association (MIA) has successfully applied to the High Court for an injunction to review the policy. A hearing is expected in August.

DataDot Technology New Zealand Ltd’s Managing Director David Lumsden, said today the Australian study confirms the major impact the policy could have on organised car crime here.

“We think it sends a message to policy makers that they’re on the right track. Our independently-reviewed cost benefit analysis of the policy shows that after 10 years the policy could cut unrecovered vehicle theft by $80 million a year. That’s a lot saved in owner anguish and police time.”

DataDot New Zealand Ltd has applied to join the High Court hearing.

DataDots are already applied to newly registered Subarus, HSVs , Ford FPV and some Mitsubishi models in New Zealand.


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