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ATM ram-raid strike force wins national award

Media Release

29 October 2009

A New South Wales Police initiative which successfully halted an upsurge in ram-raids on automatic teller machines has won national recognition at the 2009 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA).

By uniting the crime prevention efforts of police, retail business operators, banking organisations and the security industry, the Strike Force Piccadilly initiative was able to effectively end a spate of ram-raid thefts of ATMs from retail outlets which began in 2005 in the greater Sydney area.

The project received a National Award presented by Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor at Parliament House in Canberra today.

The strike force commander, Detective Inspector Murray Chapman, said the project was successful because stakeholders came together to share information and commit to crime prevention measures.

"These included a police priority alarm response system, prevention measures such as relocating ATMs and installing bollards to protect them, the development of a risk assessment and reduction tool and the sharing of intelligence reports on attempted ram raids," Inspector Chapman said.

"Our reports showed that we were able to stifle the robbery attempts, reducing them from 69 in the year before Strike Force Piccadilly's two-year operation to 19 in the 12 months following the intervention. The number of successful raids was reduced over the period from 30 to two.

"Between August 2005 and June 2007, 97 people were arrested by Strike Force Piccadilly for 491 offences related to ATM ram raids, with 21 separate gangs being identified and incapacitated."

Minister O'Connor said the program was one of two ACVPA projects organised by those in the police sector which demonstrate a contribution above and beyond day-to-day policing activities.

"The project demonstrated the significant crime prevention benefits capable of public-private partnerships, especially when they are well-organised and include a commitment to research and information sharing," Mr O'Connor said.

"Strike Force Piccadilly's innovative crime prevention initiatives are still being applied to other property crime problems by police.

"The police hotline and alarm response protocols developed by the project are still being used in NSW, as are the risk assessment service, risk reduction guidelines and regular intelligence sharing."

The ACVPA is a joint initiative of the Australian, State and Territory governments which rewards outstanding community-based projects that prevent or reduce crime and violence.

Eight ground-breaking projects involving young offenders and youth at risk, Indigenous communities, religious congregations, police and community health and safety organisations have won national recognition this year.

For more information about the Australian Community Violence Prevention Awards visit http://www.aic.gov.au/crime_community/acvpa.aspx

PROJECT OVERVIEW: STRIKE FORCE PICCADILLY, NEW SOUTH WALES

Strike Force Piccadilly, New South Wales

This NSW Police initiative began in August 2005 to address an upsurge in ram-raids on automatic teller machines. The project involved a partnership between NSW Police and private sector stakeholders via consultation, cooperative research, information sharing and a commitment to preventive measures.

The initiative included a police priority alarm system, the application of proven prevention measures and the development of a risk assessment tool and intelligence reports on all attempted ram raids.

Key outcomes:

  • Offences reduced from 69 in the year prior to the initiative to 19 in the final 12 months
  • The number of successful raids reduced from 30 to 2 in the same period
  • 97 arrests for 491 offences and 21 gangs identified and incapacitated

Media contacts: Scott Kelleher 0418 159525, Caterina Giugovaz 0418 221798.
For detail on the awards visit www.aic.gov.au/crime_community/acvpa.aspx