We're smack bang in the middle of the holidays, and with recent figures suggesting that the Central Coast could become the crime capital of NSW, our local police are asking Coasties to be aware and take care…
Crime stats suggest that the Coast is top of the list for criminal activity in a number of areas, compared with the rest of the state, but Brisbane Water LAC Superintendent Danny Sullivan says the stats aren’t telling the whole story.
New data released by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) shows domestic violence and indecent assaults are up by more than a fifth in the past 2 years, while breaking and entering a dwelling, stealing from cars and malicious damage have also recorded significant increases (see more here).
Supt Sullivan says while it’s true that the former Gosford local government area drove statistics for stolen cars and stealing from vehicles, and Wyong pumped up results for domestic assaults and breaking and entering… the ‘fraud’ category for Gosford LGA actually represents fuel theft at service stations. But most of the time when these offenders are approached they say ‘they forgot’ and repay the servo the full amount.
And while these stats may show that crime is on the climb in some areas of the Coast, our local police will also be out and about in force over the holidays to keep an eye on the community. And they’re asking us all to act responsibly: by taking extra care on the roads, and making sure everything is safe when you go out.
Stop the milk, paper, mail deliveries so it isn’t obvious that no one’s home to collect them.
Have someone else come take care of your pets, or put them in care somewhere so they don’t get lonely and let the world know they’re home alone.
Make sure your locks actually work – no good turning the key if a little bit of force will knock it open again.
Report any suspicious behaviour or strangers lurking nearby to Crimestoppers.
And when out and about, Superintendent Sullivan suggested what Coasties can be doing to reduce their risk of being impacted by crime –
Never leave valuables in car, or if you must make sure it is out of sight. Invest in a cargo blind if you have a hatchback or wagon, or lock it in the boot of the sedan.
Take your portable GPS unit with you, or hide it away.
Always leave the vehicle locked when you leave; it’s actually against the law not to do so (click here to see that and more laws you may not know).
Oh and just a heads up - you might be breaking the law if you leave your house unattended with children inside! While it's actually illegal in Queensland to leave a child under 12 years of age at home alone, in NSW the law doesn't specifically state an age, only to say that parents are expected to provide their children with adequate safety and supervision at all times.
This includes leaving a child with an older sibling if that child is under 18, depending on the supervisor’s maturity levels and capacity to care. And while it may be reasonable to leave a 10 y.o. at home while you duck out for 5 minutes, it may be seen as negligent if you did the same for anyone under 5.
And never ever leave a child unsupervised around water. For more ways to Keep Watch, click here