Paywave fraud rates on the slide in Tamworth

ID PLEASE: Russell Web, Senior Constable Jen Ridley, Jill Stewart and Chief Inspector Phil O'Reilly. Photo: Peter Hardin
ID PLEASE: Russell Web, Senior Constable Jen Ridley, Jill Stewart and Chief Inspector Phil O'Reilly. Photo: Peter Hardin

Paywave crime in Tamworth has all but been eliminated, since a combined campaign was launched urging businesses to ask for ID with paywave purchases.

Since the ‘if in doubt, check it out’ campaign was launched on November 6, there have been no recorded paywave incidents, local police say.

Senior Constable Jen Ridley said the campaign was having a “tremendous” effect.

“It’s been going so well, it’s unbelievable,” she said.

It’s also had the flow on effect of contributing to a reduction in the number of vehicle break-ins, which are often committed to get a hold of paywave cards.

“Steal from motor vehicles have gone from 73 recorded in October to 40 for November, and two for December,” Senior Constable Ridley said.

“It goes hand-in-hand. Even though we were looking at paywave crime, its source is often steal from motor vehicles.

“We have identified a number of offenders, who were recently locked up, had their bail refused, or granted conditional bail.

“They were our main offenders for steal from motor vehicles.

“Pushing it through the campaign and letting people know it’s out there, as well as identifying these offenders has really helped to drive it down.”

The campaign is a collaborative effort by local police, the Tamworth Business Chamber and Tamworth Regional Council.

Tamworth Business Chamber’s Jill Stewart said the organisation had received “some wonderful feedback” from local businesses.

“We’ve actually had a number of businesses call us to find out a bit more about it,” Ms Stewart said.

“We’ve had a few people make enquiries about the CCTV register, which the police provide, and a few people asking if they do have cameras in the wrong positions, who to get in touch with and what to do.

“It's just such a good reflection on the Tamworth business community, and the entire community as a whole, and a really positive story heading into the Christmas period.”

While the crime stats are on their way down, Senior Constable Ridley reminded the community to stay vigilant

“This time of year, people get a bit Christmas crazy,” she said.

“If people can be switched on, aware of their surroundings and belongings, and remove handbags from their car, that will go a long way.”