The ‘We See You’ campaign, which targets fuel thieves in Victoria, is already paying off, says the AACS.
The campaign has increased information reports to Crime Stoppers, says the AACS, and “opened up conversations between industry and Victoria Police”.
The AACS even credits the campaign with solving an open fuel-theft case.
The campaign, which ran throughout October, was the brainchild of Crime Stoppers Victoria, Victoria Police and the Victorian government.
Testament to teamwork
AACS CEO Jeff Rogut says the campaign’s initial success is a great testament to teamwork and collaboration.
“The AACS has repeatedly reinforced the importance for government, law enforcement and the judicial system to implement a tough, coordinated response when it comes to legislating, investigating and sentencing people who commit crimes against small businesses,” Mr Rogut said.
“The We See You campaign has provided a glimpse of what’s possible when we all work together. But it’s important from an industry and law enforcement perspective not to rest on our laurels.
“The AACS urges government and Victoria Police to continue the targeting of petrol theft criminals, and other criminals who commit crimes against convenience stores, to build on the positive results that have been achieved to date.”
According to the AACS, those positive results include:
- More leads on criminals who have committed fuel-theft offences
- Growth in the number of information reports filed
- A strong level of media and social-media engagement with members of the public
- Improved communication between industry and police; and
- Progress on unsolved cases.
‘Keep our foot on the gas’
Mr Rogut also welcomed the support of the Police Minister in turning up the pressure on fuel thieves. It’s a “strong signal”, Mr Rogut said, that fuel criminals will “face the full force of the law”.
He added: “There’s now greater recognition across the community of the fact that petrol theft is a crime.
“With Christmas around the corner – a time when petrol theft traditionally spikes – we need to keep our foot on the gas, so to speak.”