CITY of Cockburn hopes the release of CCTV images capturing a four-wheel drive trespassing a Bush Forever site will help catch the person responsible.
The footage shows the vehicle was in the Treeby Bush Forever site for less than 10 minutes where it’s alleged to have destroyed fencing and native habitat and caused up to $500 worth of damage.
City environment manager Chris Beaton said a vehicle also trespassed at the reserve before December 18, destroying a fence that cost $1200 to replace.
He said cameras were placed in the Jandakot Regional Park in an effort to catch repeat offenders, which were costing ratepayers thousands in repair bills, crushing flora in a significant banksia restoration area, disturbing nearby landowners, local wildlife and degrading the landscape.
“A common reason for, and symptom of, trespass is illegal dumping and littering, which costs the City more than $500,000 per annum in clean up, and this is a conservative estimate,” Mr Beaton said.
Cockburn Police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant James Bradley said illegal off-road activities were increasing in Cockburn reserves but there were hefty fines for those successfully prosecuted.
During the Christmas break, three gates and locks were stolen from Denis De Young Reserve in Banjup, costing $2100 to replace, which followed a trespass event in October that $2000 to repair.
Cockburn Police charged offenders with two counts each of trespass and criminal damage in those cases.
In a separate incident, three youths, including a juvenile, were charged with three counts of criminal damage (arson) for allegedly setting fire to a bench seat and table at Eco Park, Atwell.
They faced court last December with more appearances due this year.
“We have worked with the City on several occasions in the past to achieve successful prosecutions for trespass and criminal damage and support their efforts to reduce these incidents,” Sgt Bradley said.
“This vehicle filmed in Treeby is very distinctive which means someone may recognise it. It appears to be unregistered, which is an offence, and footage clearly shows it trespassing on private property.”
Anyone with information about this or any other trespass, damage or dumping crimes in the City should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or speak to Environmental Services at Cockburn council on 9411 3444.