Offences on property rise
The overall number of property offences in the Pilbara has risen slightly in the previous year, though rates of some offences are down, according to local police.
WA Police statistics for the 20152016 financial year, released last month, show overall offences against property in the Pilbara district have risen from 4247 in the 2014-15 period to 4326 this year.
That category covers burglaries, thefts, motor vehicle thefts, arson and property damage, with figures for those specific offences mixed.
Pilbara District acting Superintendent Neville Dockery said the crime rate of certain property offence categories, calculated as the number of verifiied offences per 100,000 people, had reduced in the previous year, with burglary down 37 per cent, motor vehicle theft reduced by 24 per cent and general theft down by 24 per cent.
The Pilbara recorded 1830 cases of theft in 2015-16 in comparison to 1744 the previous year, though that figure was lower than in a number of other regional areas of WA, including the Kimberley.
Supt Dockery said many cases of theft in the Pilbara were preventable, meaning people could reduce their risk of becoming victims by following good crime prevention strategies.
“Thefts did increase overall last year, however... most thefts were opportunistic offences and unfortunately committed by juveniles,” he said.
“The main commodities (taken) seem to include the theft of alcohol (from rear patios), bicycles, tools, fishing tackle (from driveways) and the like. These offences are easily prevented by securely storing property away, locking your house, car and shed.”
Acting Supt Dockery said police were aware theft was a complex matter in the Pilbara with many factors contributing to the figures.
The WA Police statistics also show the number of recorded burglaries, in both residential and other types of properties, have slightly increased, as has property damage.
Acting Supt Dockery said burglary results differed significantly across different towns.
He said reductions in motor vehicle thefts, arson, and graffiti in the district had been influenced by the Operation Doubleshot initiative and the introduction of youth crime intervention officers to the Pilbara District this year.