Pilbara police focus on community safety over festive season

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Pilbara District Police are running a region-wide operation to prevent volume crime this festive season. Pictured are Karratha police Senior Constable Emma Goodall, Sergeant Simon Harrison, Constable Russell Churchley and First Class Constable Kim Piggford.
Camera IconPilbara District Police are running a region-wide operation to prevent volume crime this festive season. Pictured are Karratha police Senior Constable Emma Goodall, Sergeant Simon Harrison, Constable Russell Churchley and First Class Constable Kim Piggford. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

Police are reminding people to be vigilant in their homes, on the roads and on the water this Christmas break to help them prevent crime and other safety incidents.

Volume or property crime, especially committed by juveniles, historically spikes in the region over the holidays when most residents leave the region, but Pilbara District police are hoping to keep a lid on offending by launching an operation focused on offences such as burglary, robbery and stolen vehicles and juvenile crime.

In Karratha, police will engage young people by handing out passes to the Leisureplex pool, promoting sporting and recreational activities and increasing patrols in areas popular with youth, including the shopping centre, ovals and skate parks.

Karratha police acting officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Craig Carter said officers hoped using a proactive approach would keep youth crime down.

“Going back the past five years, the crime spikes have been quite steep in relation to the overall average number of volume crimes, but they have been getting reduced considerably over the past few years because of operations like this one,” he said.

He also said people could reduce the likelihood of break-ins by locking up their homes and vehicles, keeping valuables out of sight and getting someone to keep an eye on their property while they were away, while those staying in the Pilbara could assist police by reporting any suspicious behaviour.

Tom Price police officer-in-charge Sergeant Tony Di Giuseppe said his station would be focusing on traffic offences and antisocial behaviour, but would also introduce more street patrols to prevent volume crime during the break.

“If you plan on parties, drink responsibly, organise transport beforehand, don’t drink and drink and be courteous to each other,” he said.

About 1000-1500 people flock to Exmouth each Christmas to spend their holidays on or near the water, and Exmouth police officer-in-charge Sergeant Paul World said police would be aiming to prevent marine incidents by conducting ramp inspections with the Department of Transport and working closely with the local volunteer marine rescue group.

“A lot of people come up here for only a set period of time, and what that tends to lead to is people going in the water regardless of sea conditions, which creates a high risk of something going wrong,” he said.

“The other thing is a lot of people... bring a boat that is not properly serviced and use it prior to it being checked out, leading to a lot more calls for assistance on the water.”

Operation Chancery will run from December 21 to February 4.

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