SCARBOROUGH Police are calling on residents to help them tackle a rise in stealing offences.
Officer in charge Senior Sergeant Craig Wanstall, who joined the team in July, said stealing offences were up nine per cent in the Scarborough sub-district compared to last year.
“Volume crime (offences that cause the greatest impact to the community) in the area is higher than what we’d like it,” he said.
“We’re conscious of it; the district has introduced a plan to target stealing from motor vehicles, that’s our number one priority.”
In the 2017-18 financial year, Innaloo recorded the highest number of crimes with 1786 – including 796 stealing offences – followed by Scarborough with 1440 overall and 503 stealing, and Osborne Park with 1403 offences overall, of which 433 were stealing.
By comparison, Hillarys recorded 812 overall and 366 stealing incidents and Cottesloe 487 overall and 243 stealing.
Incidents of stealing made up a third of all recorded crimes across the Perth metropolitan area in 2017-18.
Snr Sgt Wanstall said though the problem was not unique to the sub-district, the rise in thefts was a concern.
Criminals were predominantly stealing from motor vehicles and he encouraged people to not leave valuables in their cars so as to reduce the opportunity for theft.
These thefts were also leading to fraud and related offences, with offenders stealing handbags and wallets then using credit cards to make purchases via Pay Pass.
“Probably before you know it’s stolen they’ve already committed several ‘tap and goes’ on your credit card,” Snr Sgt Wanstall said.
He urged people to report offences or suspicious behaviour to police immediately “regardless of the time”.
Officers are on the road throughout the night and can often prevent further crimes by attending.
“We’d never criticise the public for letting us know,” he said.
“Most crimes are between 10pm and 4am and that’s when we’re out and about and can respond.”
Alleged offenders can have lengthy wait times to front court but Snr Sgt Wanstall said after they had been charged, they could be bailed and placed on a police curfew, usually from 7pm to 7am, which officers actively enforced.
He encouraged residents to help police by reducing opportunity and reporting anything suspicious immediately – but said there was no need for alarm.
“If that’s the worst we’ve got to worry about then I think the community is pretty safe.”
Police tips to reduce risk of theft from cars:
- Do not leave any valuables in your car
- Always lock your vehicle
- Do not park car on the verge if possible
- Park your car as close as possible to the house, ideally in a carport
- Report crime or suspicious activity immediately on 131 444