Building site crime costs
FOCUS PUT ON PROTECTING NEW HOME SITES
AN amount of $41,000 could easily buy you a new car, a nice holiday or even pay off your mortgage. But it is also the amount building companies pay every month as water meters, among other things, get stolen from building sites.
South East Metropolitan community engagement co-ordinator Sergeant Matthew Sharp said WA Police was working closely with Meridian Security and the building industry to reduce the number of offences being committed on building sites.
He said they worked with BUSTED, an acronym for Builders United to Stop Theft, formed by companies representing about 60 per cent of new home starts in Perth.
BUSTED co-ordinator Kevin Minchinton said the group had planted tracking devices in some frequently stolen items.
Last month, the technology helped nab a man from the South-East Metropolitan District who was charged with more than 10 counts of theft or stealing from a building site.
“Water meters are keeping us busy, copper wire too. They might get $50 at most for scrap metal but it costs about $500 to get the sparky back to re-lay the wire,” Mr Minchinton said. “The damage done is bloody annoying.” Sgt Sharp said now that the Frontline 20/20 Police model had rolled out across the metropolitan area, local policing teams would be identifying building sites where theft and damage to homes under construction occur. He urged the community to report suspicious behaviour.
“If it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t, so make a phone call,” he said.
■ Report suspicious behaviour to 131 444 or your Local Policing Team.