Industry analysis reveals that there is more than $11 million worth of vessels stolen in Australia each year and the most targeted are fishing and ski boats that belong to ordinary people.
Police know that professional thieves are active in the marine market and that the profitability of stealing a boat directly funds other criminal activities.
Police are frustrated by the lack of standardised marine information available between the states, making it easy for crime gangs to steal boats, move them across state borders and sell to unsuspecting buyers. The National Marine Register was initiated by Police and developed to combat marine theft in Australia.
Owning a boat or jetski is a privilege that many Australians work hard to achieve – taking advantage of our amazing waterways is something that many aspire to. The growing rate of boat theft impacts upon ordinary people and the cost is not only about the value of the boat, it’s also about the loss of lifestyle.
“There is in excess of $11 million worth of boats stolen in Australia every year and boat owners and Club Marine members have had enough,” said Club Marine CEO Greg Fisher. “It’s time to take more action to deter theft. We find that the most commonly stolen boats are trailer boats used for fishing and water skiing. We are determined to make it harder for thieves to profit from stealing boats from our Club Marine members and boat dealers. That’s why we support setting up a National Marine Register.”
When a Detective Senior Sergeant of Queensland Police attended a law enforcement conference in the USA and learned of the increased vulnerability of the global marine industry, he initiated an effort to address the problem. Boat theft was and is a lucrative target market for criminal networks and police have been relatively powerless to fight the rate of theft in the face of the organised networks of thieves.
“The Queensland Police Service recognises marine crime as a national concern and works with our national law enforcement partners and industry stakeholders including DataDot to identify strategies to address the issue”.
“The National Marine Register Register is an important tool and highlights the benefits of identification technology by providing a source of valuable information that will greatly assist law enforcement in their investigation and recovery of stolen marine assets,” Detective Superintendent John Sheppard of the Queensland Police Service’s Organised Crime Group said.