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. 

Police Warns Car Theft and Break-Ins On the Rise in West End

West End locals are advised to take extra measures amid the rising cases of car thefts and break-ins, as police logged 133 incidents in the suburb within the last six months.

According to the Queensland Police Service, more than 4,000 burglaries across Brisbane happened in 180 days, including 169 recorded cases of car thefts. West End leads the number in car theft with 37 cases and car break-ins with 96 cases, whilst the CBD has 32 car thefts and 137 break-ins. 

SuburbCar Break-InsCar Thefts
West End 96 37
Eagle Farm 5 33
Fortitude Valley 87 33
Brisbane City13732
Inala 4832
South Brisbane 86 31
Forest Lake 59 30
Moorooka 39 30
Woolloongabba 102 30
Sunnybank 58 28

However, while car thefts and break-ins are increasing, incidents of property offences and unlawful entry have slightly dipped in 2021 to 18 percent and 15 percent, respectively. 

Data also revealed that 55 percent of car thefts in Queensland were done by young repeat offenders. Frustration has been brewing among the police ranks as these repeat offenders are back on the streets. Most of the offenders received probation as the common penalty whilst only 22.3 percent have been sentenced to prison. Over 3,700 cases remain unsolved.  

Photo Credit: PXFuel

Meanwhile, residents are advised to be more aware of where and how they park their vehicles in the streets. Thieves are keen on unlocked and unsecured cars, thus it’s always advisable to park in high foot traffic and well-lit areas. 

Car owners must also never assume that the vicinity is safe and they need to lock their cars and close the windows properly. They must not leave valuables inside their car, which could tempt thieves to break in or steal.

Visit QPS online to report a stolen vehicle or a break-in or contact Policelink – 131444 and Crime Stoppers -1800 333 000. The Facebook group Stolen Vehicles QLD also helps get the word out for the victims.