Project aims to make trail­ers harder to steal

Horowhenua Chronicle - - NEWS - By SADIE BECK­MAN

An alarm­ing spike in the num­ber of trail­ers stolen in the Cen­tral District, in­clud­ing Horowhenua, has prompted po­lice to im­ple­ment a new project in con­junc­tion with the Mo­tor Trade As­so­ci­a­tion (MTA).

In 2017 nearly 200 trail­ers were stolen in the area, which cov­ers Taranaki, Whanganui, Ruapehu, the wider Manawatu¯ and Horowhenua, with only a third re­cov­ered.

The new project will mean that when a trailer is taken to an MTA mem­ber for a War­rant of Fit­ness, the owner will be pro­vided with ad­vice on how to pre­vent its theft, and will also have the op­por­tu­nity to have the reg­is­tra­tion num­ber welded on to the draw­bar of the trailer.

When po­lice lo­cate a trailer, or stop a ve­hi­cle tow­ing one, this will en­able them to iden­tify it quickly and eas­ily.

If they can see an at­tempt has been made to re­move a welded num­ber, they can then make fur­ther in­quiries about a trailer’s own­er­ship.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing trail­ers will also be marked, to make it ob­vi­ous to wouldbe thieves that they have a welded num­ber, in an at­tempt to de­ter theft.

Po­lice say one of the key driv­ers be­hind the num­ber of thefts is that trail­ers are of­ten left in­se­cure.

“Many peo­ple see a trailer as a ‘tool’ and leave it on their front lawn or up the drive­way un­locked and with no se­cu­rity on it,” said In­spec­tor Mark Har­ri­son.

“Trail­ers are eas­ily ‘re­birthed’ when they are taken. A new reg­is­tra­tion plate and a coat of paint, and it is very dif­fi­cult for us to iden­tify them when we do lo­cate them.”

MTA’s re­pair sec­tor man­ager Graeme Swan said the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s mem­bers were ex­cited to be in­volved in the project.

“Our mem­bers are an in­te­gral part of their lo­cal com­mu­nity and this is a way for us to help peo­ple safe­guard their prop­erty,” he said.

■ For more in­for­ma­tion and list­ings of lo­cal MTA mem­bers visit www.mta.org.nz

Po­lice and MTA are part­ner­ing in a new project to try and re­duce trailer thefts.

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