Home break-ins fall as Orange police urge residents to lock up

From March to May this year, Canobolas Local Area Command have witnessed 25 fewer break-ins to residential properties compared to the same time last year. Photo: FILE

From March to May this year, Canobolas Local Area Command have witnessed 25 fewer break-ins to residential properties compared to the same time last year. Photo: FILE

In the last three months there have been 25 fewer break and enters into homes across Canobolas Local Area Command (LAC).

Between March and May 2016 – there were 132 reported break and enters into residential properties, compared to 107 for the same three months this year.

LAC crime manager Inspector Bruce Grassick said the people most likely to targeted were of 70 years of age or over while only 15 per cent of the victims were of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background.

Meanwhile the majority of perpetrators caught and charged by police were male and aged between 15 and 17-years old and 56 per cent of those who were charged are unemployed.

Inspector Grassick warned the people who were charged and prosecuted were only linked to around nine per cent of reported break-ins.

The information was revealed at the LAC’s Community Safety Precinct Committee meeting.

Inspector Grassick said a falling trend of break and enters into homes started two years ago with the formation of property crime unit targeting repeat offenders.

However, police want to see further drops in break and enters across the command.

To help drive down the number of reported cases, police are preparing for a property crime prevention week in September.

Inspector Grassick said while each day would focus on a particular type of property crime, police would be happy to provide ideas and ways to reduce opportunities for thieves.

“A lot of these crimes are preventable,” Inspector Grassick said.

“More often than not they are an opportunistic crime, where they’re looking for softer targets.”

Inspector Grassick said prevention was as simple as locking a door – whether you’re at home or not.

“It’s not unusual when an offender will target a property with an open door and someone’s out in the backyard,” he said.

If there are hedges growing over windows, or a cluttered yard, this could make it easier for an offender to hide from residents and steal property.

“They’ll look at homes without CCTV (closed circuit television), without alarms, places where they’re less likely to be detected.”

It’s a message Inspector Grassick said was spread through social media channels, as well as traditional media outlets.

Inspector Grassick said officers would be sharing crime prevention tips beyond Orange and Cowra and including Molong and Canowindra.

The LAC’s property crime prevention week will run from September 25.

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