Be more aware when 'on the piste'!
Focus: Unattended ski theft, Austria. (23/02/2011)
During February 2011, more than a dozen police officers from Carinthia in Austria were sent to support their colleagues in Tyrol to fight the growing number of ski thefts.
There were 2,724 reported cases of ski thefts in Tyrol last year, up by 13.2 per cent compared to 2008. Figures also increased in five other of Austria's overall nine provinces year on year. Salzburg registered the second-highest crime rate in this regard behind Tyrol with 1,294 cases in 2009, down by 5.8 per cent compared to the previous year.
An overall 4,576 pairs of skis - six per cent more than in 2008 - and 838 snowboards, up by 13.7 per cent year on year, were stolen across the country in 2009.
Now officials in Tyrol and Carinthia, where 111 ski theft incidents were registered in 2009, agreed to cooperate on the matter. A local newspaper reported last week that 15 police officers are currently in Tyrol to assist in examining the hundreds of ski theft cases reported by tourists in the winter sport hotspot so far this winter.
Commentators have criticised that only a fraction of reported cases are solved by police, while authorities appealed on holidaymakers to be more careful.
Police suggested tourists should lock their skis when abandoning them outside aprés ski bars and restaurants. They also said placing each ski separated from the other one at prepared areas in front of mountainous gastronomy businesses could reduce the risk of having them stolen. "We are currently trying out various measures to tackle the issue, but there isn't a patent remedy," a policeman told Coveredgo's Chief Exceutive, Jeff Rush (seen opposite in Kitzbuhel, Austria). Rush said, "Many insurance policies exclude theft of unattended ski equipment, which is all the more reason why our customers should continue to be vigilant."