Car Theft Claims Rise in Inner City Brisbane as Number of Offences Rise Statewide

Incidents of car theft claims in Brisbane’s inner city have had a 39.8 per cent increase between 2021 to 2022, amidst a growing number of vehicular offences statewide.

In West End, authorities are dealing with recurring issues of car park security in high-rise buildings, especially at prominent sites. Unit owners are constantly reminded to lock their cars and never leave valuable items inside, especially not in the compartment.

In December 2022, data from the Queensland Police Services showed the highest number of car theft incidents across the region with 2,133 cars stolen within the month. The region’s previous highest record was logged in March 2001 with 1,834 incidents. 

On the other hand, RACQ warned motorists about stolen cars as early as August 2022 after noting an increase in claims in the last financial year. At that time,  Brisbane’s inner city claims were at 31 per cent but this has apparently increased to 39.8 per cent by the end of 2022.

Data from the Children’s Court Serious Repeat Offender Index showed that nearly half of the vehicular offences are done by kids between the ages of 10 to 17, prompting a debate on new laws that could include longer prison terms or penalties for youth car thieves. In response, Queensland Police Service Assistant Commissioner George Marchesini has been tasked to command the new Youth Crime Taskforce with an aim to divert youth offenders away from prison.

“Keeping children in detention is not the end solution,” Mr Marchesini said during the press release. “We need to look at how we break that cycle of reoffending.”

The Queensland Government is also planning to spend $10 million on 20,000 engine immobilisers in areas where car thefts are rampant. These devices are embedded into cars to disable their starting mechanism if done illegally. 

However, RACQ believes that immobilisers will do little to reduce car thefts. Instead, Andrew Kirk, RACQ’s principal technical researcher said car owners must always lock their car doors and keep their keys out of sight.