Group out to bust site crooks

O’Connor has had the most incidents, with three reported thefts since April 21, while East Fremantle, Fremantle, Beaconsfield, North Coogee and Applecross all had incidents in the same period.

With the issue an increasing problem as Perth’s population grows, the four major builders in WA came together earlier this year to create Busted, a crime prevention campaign specifically targeting crime involving construction sites.

Busted’s Nicola Weaver said the group provided signage, patrols and helped police with investigations when there was an incident reported.

‘The most common incidents are illegal dumping, when people move into areas and they dump packaging and what not, which has huge environmental problems and social problems as well,’ she said.

‘Water meters are a hot item at the moment for thieves and door frames and white goods are most commonly stolen.

‘A lot of it happens in the industry. It means costly delays, time, so from the clients’ point of view it’s a big hassle’

Ms Weaver said the group had a win recently when they installed a tracking device into some insulation on a site in Canning Vale.

The insulation was stolen, but the group were able to use the tracking device, and a subsequent Gumtree post the next day, to alert police and arrest the tradesperson who had taken it.

Police from Fremantle, Murdoch, Palmyra and Spearwood stations are urging people to become more vigilant when building.

Palmyra Police acting Senior Sergeant Gary Thwaites said there were a number of tips that could be followed to minimise criminal behaviour.

‘Get to know your neighbours before your new premises is built,’ he said. ‘Provide them with your contact details in case they see anything suspicious and if this is the case, encourage them to contact the police.

‘The Australian Institute of Criminology has revealed that 74 per cent of theft and damage offences occur during the evening/night time hours, therefore adequate temporary lighting on the site will minimise the chances of an offence occurring to your property.’