WATER police want vessels safe and secure from crime on jetties, moorings and trailers.
“Kids jump into boats to get stored alcohol and thieves will jump on to get the keys and get the boat,” Sergeant Rod Veal said.
A MarineWatch information package for safe and crime-preventing boating will be handed out by Water Police when they pull over boats on the water, at slipways and yacht clubs this summer.
Sgt Veal said the package complemented the email-based ewatch program backed by Neighbourhood Watch WA to connect police with residents and local councils. Ewatch emails inform participants about crime, their trends and statistics in their suburbs.
“So if a yacht club signs up to ewatch and it’s getting hit by thieves, then all the club’s members will know,” Sgt Veal said.
He said crime on boats at the clubs and marinas might not be perceived because half of incident reports last year comprised thefts from cars onshore.
“But a lot of people don’t report incidents because of things like insurance excesses being greater than the value of, say, a stolen emergency beacon, but we urge people to report everything so we can solve the pieces of the crime puzzle,” he said.
Boat trailers had to have wheel and tow-ball locks and unattended boats needed emptying to stop youths stealing alcohol and hoaxers using stolen emergency flares. Engine keys must be removed from any moored boat.
“In June, we had bloke just swim out to a Riviera cruiser, find the key and take off from Thomson Bay in Rottnest Island,” Sgt Veal said.