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ACT Policing encourage private investigations?

By LusciousLiv - 8 December 2011 64

I recently discovered that ACT Police expect me to do my own investigating into the theft of my vehicle. They have instructed me to contact Westfield Woden and ask into security camera footage of the gated carpark from which my car was stolen last Sunday evening. I reported the theft to ACT Police immediately over the phone, and then walked to Woden cop shop (as it was the only place open and warm at that time of night) to finalise the report and wait for a cab home.

Two days later I called the ACT Police general phone number (131 444) again to follow up on any progress with my job #. I mentioned to the officer that there would probably be some kind of CCTV or security camera footage available, as the car was parked in a gated/secure carpark. He put me on hold to check if there were any Police CCTVs in there area (which there aren’t) and then said that I would need to contact Westfield Woden myself to chase up whether the carpark has a camera and if there was any useful footage.

When I queried if it was my responsibility to follow up possible security camera footage of the crime, and to – in effect – conduct my own investigation to uncover additional information pertinent to the crime, he responded in a lacsadaisical fashion that “if we followed up every car theft, we’d be on the phone to security companies all day long”.

I was dumbstruck. I wondered, is that not part of their job?  – to look into crimes and liaise with other bodies who may have information pertinent to said crimes? Surely …!?

(Prologue: The vehicle was located today in Mildura (Victoria) 3 days later, thanks to the proactive approach of Victoria Policing, who noticed the car on the highway, driver and passenger hiding their faces, 2 school age small children in the back seat, (stolen ACT rego plates) and got suspicious. The family of 4 had been living in the car for the past 3 days, and were heading to Perth. The driver (who has an extensive record in WA, NSW and ACT but not VIC) was charged with entering the state with known stolen goods, and was sentenced today to 14 days imprisonment in a Melbourne jail.

ACT Policing will presumably (hopefully) issue a warrant, so that, if the adult drivers return to the ACT they may be apprehended. (It was too minor a crime to bother with extradition apparently.) VIC Policing will also issue a DHS notification so that, whatever state they end up in, DHS might be able to follow up to check if the 2 small kids are ok.)

What’s Your opinion?


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64 Responses to
ACT Policing encourage private investigations?
Classified 8:56 pm 08 Dec 11

I feel sorry for the children in the story, having such scumbag parents.

el 8:44 pm 08 Dec 11

buzz819 said :

My car was stolen, recovered and had the full forensic top to bottom…. in the ACT as well…

Mine too – Police were on the scene to take details within an hour, got in contact weeks later when they noticed footage of the car being used in a robbery, and recovered the car 6 weeks later in the thieving shitbag’s driveway – also got a conviction around 14 months later (which meant I got my insurance excess back).

Tooks 8:00 pm 08 Dec 11

sepi said :

This exact situation happened to my work colleague, except in Civic carpark and civic police. It seems ACt police’s main job is to hand out ‘job numbers’ for insurance purposes. I’m surprised the insurance companies don’t start complaining = all you have ot do to get a job number for theft int he act is a quick phone call to act police – the chances of them actually investigating property crime are zero.

In Adelaide a friend’s car was broken into in their driveway and the police turned up and took finderprints! That would never happen here.

Next time you feel like writing an idiotic comment, have a think first. Then think again. Then hit ‘preview’, then read what you wrote, think about it some more, then hit delete.

intaba 12:27 pm 08 Dec 11
HenryBG 12:04 pm 08 Dec 11

buzz819 said :

sepi said :

This exact situation happened to my work colleague, except in Civic carpark and civic police. It seems ACt police’s main job is to hand out ‘job numbers’ for insurance purposes. I’m surprised the insurance companies don’t start complaining = all you have ot do to get a job number for theft int he act is a quick phone call to act police – the chances of them actually investigating property crime are zero.

In Adelaide a friend’s car was broken into in their driveway and the police turned up and took finderprints! That would never happen here.

My car was stolen, recovered and had the full forensic top to bottom…. in the ACT as well…

I’ve had the police send the nice forensic lady out to take fingerprints off a car that had only had its wheels stolen.

On the other hand, every other time I’ve tried to report a crime with them they’ve shown no interest. I guess it’s hard to motivate yourself to spend many hours investigating a crime only to see the criminal receive the usual pampering at the hands of the completely dysfunctional criminal justice system which values criminals’ rights well above those of their victims.

KeenGolfer 11:40 am 08 Dec 11

OP, what do you think CCTV footage from the car park will show? They have cameras at the entry/exit points only. All it will show is your vehicle leaving the carpark, nothing more. You will not be able to identify an offender from the footage.

It’s important to note that when you call 131444 you don’t speak to a police officer at a station. You speak to a trained civilian at an operations centre who decides whether the job warrants dispatching a police patrol to attend based on a priority system.

Police do not normally attend reports of vehicle damage. Do you know how many of these incidents occur every day? Do you expect to tie up half the ACT police force each day taking reports in person of vehicle damage when it can be done quickly and easily over the phone?

Seriously, what do you expect police to do if a rock (for example) has been thrown through your car window? Fingerprint the rock? This isn’t TV people, in real life there are limits to what can and can’t be done. CSI has a lot to answer for. The only thing that can be done in 99/100 cases is to give you a job number so you can make an insurance claim. Of course if you see someone in the process of damaging a vehicle, that’s a different story.

If you want police to attend every incident I suggest you lobby the ACT government to double or triple the ACT policing budget because that’s what would be needed.

DUB 10:54 am 08 Dec 11

LusciousLiv said :

What I have learnt from this is that reporting the theft of a car to the Police is not enough.
You also need to :
– report the theft to the carpark security operators
– notify the car registration authority, so that the rego will come up as de-registered if it does get scanned by one of the RAPID scanners.
– notify the local police station so they can alert their patrol cars in the area.
(None of the above is done automatically by the central Police after you report the theft. All they do, it seems, it issue job numbers for insurance purposes.)

You could also notify the taxi companies so the can keep their eyes peeled while out on the roads, in case they spot it in use or dumped.

Congrats on the recovery of vehicle!
And thanks for the info.
I too, was surprised to learn that after my car and several others were hit at work car park (broken windows, nothing taken, we prevent the crimes that way), ACTP refused to turn up to take fingerprints (even after question by us “What if it could be someone known to police, if you have the prints already?”).
Instead, we only had incident report numbers for insurance. F–ing lame, if you ask me.
But I will remember the point about notifying RoadsACT, so they de-register car, if it is ever stolen.I thought that ACTP would have shared that info with RUS. 🙁

LusciousLiv 10:49 am 08 Dec 11

What I have learnt from this is that reporting the theft of a car to the Police is not enough.
You also need to :
– report the theft to the carpark security operators
– notify the car registration authority, so that the rego will come up as de-registered if it does get scanned by one of the RAPID scanners.
– notify the local police station so they can alert their patrol cars in the area.
(None of the above is done automatically by the central Police after you report the theft. All they do, it seems, it issue job numbers for insurance purposes.)

You could also notify the taxi companies so the can keep their eyes peeled while out on the roads, in case they spot it in use or dumped.

LusciousLiv 10:41 am 08 Dec 11

Is it too much to ask people to assist Police in investigating the totally preventable theft of your car. Get a steering wheel lock and imobiliser fitted to the next car you own.

1) I thought I was preventing theft as best I could by locking it and parking it in a ‘secure’ gated carpark.

2) And yes, I think it IS too much to ask people to assist Police by ringing Security offices and agencies, since a request from a general public member is much less likely to get the prompt cooperation of their staff than a request from a Police officer hopefully would.

3) And if I AM expected to assist Policy with the investigation, it would have been extremely helpful if the Police had let me know that at the time I made the report, so that there wasn’t a 2 day lag between the theft and someone taking a gander at the security tape. In that 2 days the perpetrators had time to leave the ACT and get a sufficient distance away that the car is now probably a financial write-off due to towing costs.

4) I am not about to pay for an immobiliser on our inexpensive, old second car that is worth less than $1k on the market. But just because I own an older model vehicle (that is unfortunately easier to break into and start) does not mean tgat it is my fault it got stolen. And I do think it is my right to expect the Police to do something about it when it is stolen – particularly if there is an evident source of additional information at hand.

And if, indeed,

Erg0 10:36 am 08 Dec 11

Special G said :

Is it too much to ask people to assist Police in investigating the totally preventable theft of your car.

Is it police policy nowadays to render assistance in inverse proportion to the preventability of a crime?

I agree with the principle to an extent, but if that’s the model that the cops are operating under then they should probably tell people or there’re bound to be complaints.

Special G 10:07 am 08 Dec 11

Vicpol highway cars probably are fitted with RAPID. In which case they drive along and the plate pinged on the system informing them it was stolen.

The person you spoke with is most likely a staff member not a Police officer. 131444 is for Police attendance, 62567777 is the general number.

Is it too much to ask people to assist Police in investigating the totally preventable theft of your car. Get a steering wheel lock and imobiliser fitted to the next car you own.

buzz819 9:57 am 08 Dec 11

sepi said :

This exact situation happened to my work colleague, except in Civic carpark and civic police. It seems ACt police’s main job is to hand out ‘job numbers’ for insurance purposes. I’m surprised the insurance companies don’t start complaining = all you have ot do to get a job number for theft int he act is a quick phone call to act police – the chances of them actually investigating property crime are zero.

In Adelaide a friend’s car was broken into in their driveway and the police turned up and took finderprints! That would never happen here.

My car was stolen, recovered and had the full forensic top to bottom…. in the ACT as well…

sepi 9:41 am 08 Dec 11

This exact situation happened to my work colleague, except in Civic carpark and civic police. It seems ACt police’s main job is to hand out ‘job numbers’ for insurance purposes. I’m surprised the insurance companies don’t start complaining = all you have ot do to get a job number for theft int he act is a quick phone call to act police – the chances of them actually investigating property crime are zero.

In Adelaide a friend’s car was broken into in their driveway and the police turned up and took finderprints! That would never happen here.

2.0 9:31 am 08 Dec 11

White Commodore?

The_Bulldog 9:16 am 08 Dec 11

Resources are thin. I’m not advocating the respoonse of the duty officer, but my advice would be to write to your local council-member (or whatever it is they call themselves in the Legislative Assembly). These guys are ultimately responsible for how much money gets thrown at ACT Policing.

IMHO less public art and more police on the streets would be a good thing.

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