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Victoria Police has announced it will trial the world-first use of GPS tracking devices to reduce car theft in the state.

Around 1000 vehicles will be fitted with the technology from September as part of a 12-month program. The trackers will be installed in cars at a higher risk of theft in metropolitan areas that are considered by the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC) as “high risk” suburbs.

Owners will be able to synchronise the device to an app on their smartphone, which will send an alert if the vehicle is moved from a set location. Should that occur, the owner can notify police directly through the app.

The trackers are around half the size of a matchbox, and will be hidden in random areas of a vehicle so that potential thieves are unaware they are being monitored.

Bob Hill, southern metro region assistant commissioner, said the trial is only the first stage of the initiative.

“Phase two will involve us engaging with the private sector. Phase three of the project will be working with the industry as a whole,” he said.

“High-end vehicles are currently manufactured with the technology installed.”

“We want to work with the vehicle industry, and in the fullest of time, sooner rather than later, have the entire fleet in the state fitted with this technology, so we can potentially eliminate vehicle theft full stop,” Hill added.

Meanwhile, despite the recent decline in vehicle theft, the NMVTRC statistics say 43 vehicles are still stolen per day on average in Victoria.

MORE: Victoria Police news

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