Time to lock up: police

David SalvaireSound Telegraph

As the festive season approaches, residents in Secret Harbour are being asked to lock up their homes and vehicles to prevent a potential spike in crime.

Figures from WA Police show December and January are peak times for property offences, including home burglaries and break-ins.

Across the South Metropolitan District in 2016-17, total property offences jumped from 2803 in September to 3359 in January.

Property offences include motor vehicle theft, stealing from vehicles, shoplifting, mugging and fraud, as well as break-and-enters and stealing from dwellings.

The biggest spike in offences through December and January last season was burglaries (1416 in total) and theft (3116).

Mandurah Police Station acting Senior Sergeant James Tipple said burglaries from unsecured properties and stealing from motor vehicles were the most common offences committed over the Christmas period.

“Generally the main issue this time of year is people leaving their homes insecure,” he said.

“With the hotter weather, windows and doors are left open, leaving easy targets for opportunists. The main message would be to ensure that houses are secure even if requiring increased ventilation. In addition there are offenders who will specifically target Christmas presents so we’re asking people not to leave them in clear view whether at home or out shopping.”

Acting Sen. Sgt Tipple said while crime figures for this financial year in the area were down, reporting suspicious activity and securing valuables would help police.

Recent research from QBE Insurance Australia revealed the role neighbours play in making communities safer.

Portfolio manager Grant Pearce said the research showed 84 per cent of Australians were concerned about the security of their home while they were away, but four out of five admitted they would be more comfortable if they knew their neighbours better.

“We commissioned this research to highlight some of the additional measures Australians can take to further improve the security of their homes, especially during the summer holidays, historically a peak time for home break- ins,” he said.

“Of course, locking doors and windows and ensuring valuables are out of sight should be key steps in all pre-holiday security regimes, but the humble neighbour can also play an important and powerful role in making our communities and neighbourhoods safer for all.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails