Thieves target site

Headshot of Pierra Willix
Pierra WillixSound Telegraph
Email Pierra Willix
Baldivis Children’s Forest chairwoman Sarah Blake with Lauchlan Blake, 7, and Ella Hudson, 7, at the Baldivis Children’s Forest.
Camera IconBaldivis Children’s Forest chairwoman Sarah Blake with Lauchlan Blake, 7, and Ella Hudson, 7, at the Baldivis Children’s Forest. Credit: Pierra Willix

The Baldivis Children’s Forest has again been targeted by a string of thefts, with break-ins affecting volunteers’ ability to carry out their work.

In the past two months, there has been an escalation in crime at the site, with seven specialised water pumps being stolen, while other items were also stolen during another break-in last week.

Baldivis Children’s Forest chairwoman Sarah Blake said that as a volunteer organisation whose focus is on caring for the forest and providing the community with a space to connect with nature, the repeated targeting was “devastating”.

“With each reinstall we have added to security measures but these thieves seem organised and focused, and seem to have no regard for how they impact the wider community,” she said.

Ms Blake said the impact of the stolen pumps was more than financial. “It costs the City to replace them and increase security, but it also means that we have had to cancel some of our educational programs for schools, child-focused groups and other users of the forest,” she said.

“These repeated attacks impact the morale of our team. Unfortunately, not everyone cares for this space and we have also had to increase our cleaning and monitoring of the forest.”

The police and the City of Rockingham are assisting the volunteers to help combat the crime at the site.

“In the meantime we want to encourage people to come out and use the forest but also be respectful of this space and the people who clean up after you,” she said.

Anyone with information about the thefts are asked to contact WA Police on 131 444 and to watch out for water pumps, cordless drills or LED portable lights being sold online.

Volunteers are continuing their work, and are encouraging more families to get involved.

A recent creation- the Baldivis Children’s Forest Collective Alliance and Membership groups- are ways the public to can learn, engage with and support the work being done.

For more information email admin@baldivischildrensforest.org.

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