Michelle Roberts

Michelle Roberts

Minister for Housing and Works; Indigenous Affairs; Heritage; Land Information

    Not a merry Christmas or happy New Year for burglars

    23/12/2005 12:00 AM

    Western Australia’s blitz on burglaries is set to continue with today’s summer launch of the State Government’s highly successful Burglar Beware campaign.

    Community Safety Minister Michelle Roberts said the community’s relaxed summer habits - leaving doors and windows open, cars unlocked and bags unattended - made the holiday season a ‘peak period’ for burglars and thieves.

    However, Mrs Roberts promised this summer would be different.

    “It has been a bleak year for burglars and I wish them an even more miserable Christmas and New Year,” she said.

    “The summer advertising campaign being launched today urges the whole community to make it tough for burglars.

    “The harsh reality is that burglars take advantage of open doors and windows to commit more than half the burglaries in WA, so better home security and remembering to lock up can make a big difference.”

    Mrs Roberts said the summer Burglar Beware campaign had already been given a significant boost by ‘Operation Clearance’ - a very successful State-wide police crackdown targeting repeat offenders which, to date, had resulted in 177 people caught by police facing a total of 438 charges.

    Some of the charges include:
    • 108 people on burglary offences;
    • 97 people on stealing charges;
    • 76 people on drug charges;
    • 27 people on stealing cars; and
    • 10 people on firearm and weapon offences.
    “These are fantastic results by our frontline police which sends a very clear message to burglars that you will be caught and locked up over this summer period,” the Minister said.

    “The Government is committed to boosting community safety and our massive investment in more police, better police facilities and equipment and the $20million DNA program is a very successful crime-fighting program.”

    Mrs Roberts said WA led the nation in burglary reduction, with a fall of 34 per cent over the past two years.

    In November 2005, burglaries fell by 17 per cent across the metropolitan area and by a massive 28 per cent in the south-east metropolitan district, where the Burglar Beware campaign is most active.

    Despite the good results, the Minister is urging the community to remain vigilant.

    “Whether you are at work, at home, or at the beach - lock up your valuables this summer,” she said.

    “If you are at home gardening or entertaining in the backyard, make sure your front door and windows are locked.

    “If you are at the beach or out and about, remember to remove all valuables from your car and lock up.”

    The anti-burglary campaign is co-ordinated by the Office of Crime Prevention and WA Police who have worked in partnership with Government agencies, local governments, businesses, community groups, shopping centres, schools and volunteers to dramatically cut the rate of burglaries across the metropolitan area.

    For more information, visit http://www.burglarbeware.wa.gov.au

    • lock up whether you are heading out or at home, particularly in the back garden;
    • if you are going on holidays, cancel your newspaper, ask a trusted neighbour to collect your mail and put out your bin,
    • divert your home phone to your mobile or another number;
    • never leave a spare key outside your house;
    • prune bushes so they are low and will not hide burglars;
    • mark your property - it makes it less attractive to burglars and easier for police to recover;
    • lock up your shed, garage and letterbox;
    • install a burglar alarm; and
    • join Neighbourhood Watch WA Online at http://www.nhw.wa.gov.au

    Minister's office: 9213 6600