John Kobelke

John Kobelke

Minister for Police and Emergency Services; Community Safety; Water Resources; Sport and Recreation

    Major reduction in WA crime

    19/09/2007 2:30 PM
     
    19/9/07

    The incidence of burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and robbery has dropped dramatically in Western Australia since 2001, according to a new report by the Office of Crime Prevention.

    The report, ‘Turning the Corner 2007: Recent crime trends in WA’ released by Community Safety Minister John Kobelke, showed the burglary rate had fallen 40 per cent between 2002 and 2006.

    “In 2002, there were 3,208 burglaries per 100,000 persons, compared to 1,953 in 2006,” Mr Kobelke said.

    “Similarly, incidents of theft dropped from 5,000 per 100,000 persons in 2002 to 4,000 in 2006 and motor vehicle theft fell from 1,415 incidents a month in 1998 to 636 a month in 2006.”

    Although the rates of these types of crimes increased slightly from 2005 to 2006, the figures for 2007 to date show this trend has not continued and reported incidents have decreased slightly.

    “This report dispels the myth that crime rates are on the rise in WA,” the Minister said.

    “The decrease in crime demonstrated by these statistics is not an excuse for complacency, because there is still a lot of work to be done.

    “However, it is encouraging to see that increased police numbers, the Frontline First policy and programs like Burglar Beware and Eyes on the Street have influenced the recent downward trends and show improvements are achievable.”

    One of the most important statistics in the report relates to family violence. In the past three years, the number of offenders apprehended for family violence tripled from 5,500 to 16,000.

    Mr Kobelke said this result did not indicate an increase in family violence, but rather an increase in the reporting of family violence. This trend was a positive flow-on from changes to family and domestic violence legislation introduced in 2004, which among other provisions, required police to investigate any suspected domestic assault.

    “This report is the first to demonstrate that recent statistical increases in assault are due to the Government introducing legislation dealing with domestic violence,” he said.

    Mr Kobelke said that the incidence of non-domestic assault had remained stable, as had the incidence of homicide.

    “Despite these encouraging results, the Government and the community cannot afford to be complacent,” the Minister said.

    “By working together, we’ve had great results, but further reductions require everyone’s effort.

    “A recent research report found that nearly 40 per cent of successful burglaries were the result of an unlocked door or window. Reducing crime can be as easy as locking up properly before leaving home and not leaving valuables unattended in cars and unlocked sheds.”

    Despite the impressive results, Mr Kobelke expressed concern that many Western Australians were living in fear due to a false belief that crime was increasing.

    “People are better able to protect themselves against crime if they have the facts,” he said.

    The report is available on the Office of Crime Prevention’s website http://www.crimeprevention.wa.gov.au

    Tips on reducing the risk of burglary is available at http://www.burglarbeware.wa.gov.au

    Minister's office - 9222 9211