Remove the incentive

Hello all, reviewing last week’s incidents before writing my column this week, a couple of things stood out.

I’ll start with burglaries.  We had a spate of thefts from cars on private properties in St Kilda and the surrounding area, and the timing suggests they were most likely related.

It is a reminder that one offender or group of offenders can be responsible for several crimes in a short space of time, and they are opportunists. Power tools in particular were targeted.  Please be vigilant around removing all valuables from parked cars and ensure they are locked. Keep car keys safe inside your house and out of plain sight.

As a general rule, it is good to record the brand, model and serial number of all valuable items that you own, take a photograph and keep the information saved securely where you can access it.  Clearly mark power tools by engraving an identifier in a non-obvious place. A driver’s licence is great for this as it personal to you and not as obvious to a thief as a surname or company name.

If we remove the visible incentive, we reduce the activity. If we have records of items that do get stolen, we have a much higher chance of getting them back to you if they are subsequently located.

In addition, we have been seeing a run of rural burglaries where fuel has been stolen.  In all such cases, please report any suspicious activity and phone 111 at the time. Please call police immediately and before posting to community Facebook pages. If you do post to Facebook, be sure to include the Police reference number you have received from your report so that any additional information can be collated together.

Remember your safety is paramount. Do not approach or confront offenders. You don’t know how they will react, and considering such offending, they will likely have tools on them that could be used as a weapon against you.  You may also spook the offender and cause them to leave the area, but this makes catching them harder, especially where they are forensically aware so have left little evidence behind.

The second stand out point was around alcohol. Our prevention teams did an operation in Cambridge on Saturday evening because of an increased presence around alcohol and antisocial behaviour. As part of this, the ‘Booze Bus’ was deployed. Disappointingly the team caught five people driving with excess breath alcohol within just a few hours.

With the welcome return of warmer weather and the approaching daylight savings, it is likely that socialising will increase. Please plan before you party. Any alcohol in the system will affect your reaction time and driving ability. This puts not only you at risk but all other road users. The consequences of an alcohol fuelled crash of frequently life changing for all involved and are irreversible.  Drive sober, drive safe.


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