Lax security annoys police

Sarah IsonBusselton Dunsborough Times

Capes police are calling for a culture shift across the region and say people must shake-off the “small- town mindset” to adequately safeguard against opportunistic crime.

Despite a perceived Statewide spike in drug-related crimes and driving offences, the new year’s message from Margaret River and Dunsborough police was a sobering one: lock your cars, lock your homes and protect yourselves.

Dunsborough police Senior Sergeant Kelly Player told the Times theft within the town was “almost never” a case of forced entry but rather one of carelessness, despite police warnings.

“Cars and doors are left unlocked and people are getting targeted for it,” she said. “We just would like to remind people that it’s not a town of no crime, especially considering the fact population triples in the summer.”

Margaret River police officer-in-charge Sergeant Brett Cassidy told the Times people needed to stop acting as though they still lived in a town of 100 and “change their behaviour accordingly”.

“People are still leaving vehicles unlocked with property inside and it’s just inviting crime in,” he said.

“We need to turn that culture around and remember we’re in a bigger town now.”

Sgt Cassidy said while opportunistic crime was something police would continue to target, public support and co-operation was necessary.

The warnings come after a year of notable instances of opportunistic crime, such as the theft of a $12,000 triathlon bike and the ransacking of 15 unlocked cars along the same street in Dunsborough.

Augusta police officer-in-charge Sergeant Rick Lock said this summer season was the busiest he had seen and expected the population would continue to grow.

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