Theft Prevention

Theft of Personal and University property is a matter which directly affects both staff and students. Libraries, work, study and leisure areas are all potential targets for theft.

Contributing Factors

Some of the elements that contribute to a theft being carried out are:

  • Providing a would be thief with the OPPORTUNITY to steal (eg: leaving offices/study areas unattended with property not secured, no alarm systems installed)
  • The BENEFIT to be gained
  • The RISK of apprehension or punishment

It stands to reason that if we remove or lessen the first two elements and increase the risk of apprehension or punishment, we can prevent or reduce the incidence of theft.

Theft Prevention

Theft prevention is the anticipation, recognition, and appraisal of a risk of theft and taking steps to reduce or remove that risk.

The techniques outlined in this pamphlet are designed to reduce the opportunity for theft and increase the risk for a would be thief. To let a prospective thief know you are security conscious, you can take the following action:

  • Make property difficult to steal.
  • Report all incidences involving theft to Security.
  • Mark property with some kind of identification mark.
  • Lock your office or study area whenever you are absent.
  • Secure all valuables lying around in open areas which are unattended.
  • Use locking devices to secure computers and other similar equipment to desks.
  • Encourage student and staff vigilance to watch for and report suspicious activity to Security.
  • Be alert for diversions that may distract you.
  • Clearly display crime prevention type posters.

Although these suggestions are not mean to cover all the techniques you can use, many of them can be implemented at little or no cost.

If someone appears to be behaving in a strange or unusual manner contact Security.

Car Theft - What Can I Do?

By adopting the following strategies you may reduce the opportunity for crime and decrease the chances of your car being stolen:

  • Always lock all doors and wind up windows.
  • Install an effective anti theft device (eg: an alarm).
  • Park in an area that is close to buildings.
  • If parking during the night, park in a well lit area.
  • Have your vehicle details (eg: registration number, engine number, type of vehicle, colour, value, etc) available should you need them. You may also consider photographing your car.
  • Consider installing:
    • A fuel / ignition cut out switch
    • A visible locking device
    • A battery isolator
  • When parking your vehicle:
    • Look around the area where your park.
    • Lock you car and lock valuables out of sight.
    • Leave your car secure.

Remember TIME is a thief's worst enemy. To remove or disarm any type of anti theft device takes TIME.

Bicycle Theft

The theft of bicycles from campus and the near vicinity is an ongoing problem which can be greatly reduced. By using the following techniques when leaving a bicycle unattended on campus you may reduce the OPPORTUNITY for theft and increase the risk for a would be thief:

  • Always have an identification mark on your bicycle. You can use the bicycle serial number or your own identification mark. Your local Police Station can assist with bicycle identification marks. A thief is less likely to steal a bicycle which can be positively identified.
  • Consider taking a photograph of your bicycle (including the make, colour, frame type and size, identification mark, equipment attached, wheel and tyre size and colour, type of seat, colour and type of mudguards, type and shape of handle, colours and type of hand grips, value, etc) readily available should you need them for purposes of identification at a later stage.
  • It is strongly recommended that you use a good quality bicycle lock when leaving your bicycle unattended on campus (D type locks appear to offer the best security).
  • Use the bicycle racks or cabinets provided at various locations around the campus.
  • Select a location nearest your place of work or study and be satisfied that the location offers sufficient security for your bicycle and is also a safe place by reason of close proximity to a heavy pedestrian traffic area and is in an area providing open natural surveillance.
  • You may want to consider partly dismantling your bicycle (eg; removing the front wheel) so that you can secure all parts together, which may offer increased security.
  • Avoid leaving other bicycle fittings on an unattended bicycle (eg: helmet, pump, light fittings, bicycle clips, drink bottles, etc) as they may only increase the interest of a would be thief.

These suggestions are not meant to cover all possible preventative measures, however you may be assisted by the measures outlined when considering your own security plans for your bicycle when on campus.

Property Identification

Marking Property

Engraving or marking property leaves no doubt as to ownership.

It deters others from taking property because of difficulties involved in "disposing" of identifiable property and helps Police to recover items which may have been stolen.

Personal Inventory

A detailed inventory should be kept of all valuable property. You should record Serial or identification numbers, makes, model, colour, value and any other information which may assist with identification.

When your inventory is complete, keep in a safe place.

This will help Police to recover stolen items and assists in cases of insurance claims.

How Do I Mark Property?

You can mark property by using an engraver or an ultra violet pen.

Not all items are suitable for marking with an engraver or ultra violet pen, however you should avoid affixing any type of sticker or label or plate which can be removed after theft.

What Should I Mark?

All types of property are subject to theft. Whether it be a bicycle, a computer or a valuable antiques, ensure that it is marked or photographed.

What to Photograph?

Not all items are suitable for marking, such as works or art, jewellery or valuable collectables. In these circumstances it is advisable to photograph each item and keep these photograph in a safe place should you require them at a later stage.

When your inventory is complete, keep in a safe place.

What Identification Number Should I Use?

It is suggested that you mark your property using your licence number preceded by the letter "V" for Victoria. If you do not hold a licence you could seek the permission of a relative or friend to use their licence number.

For example;

Licence Number: 112233
State of Victoria
Identification Number V 112233

If you use an identification number your property can be traced back to you.