The rising incidents of car thefts have made Western Australia the capital of car thefts in the country. WA also witnessed a surge in house breaking crimes, according to the latest crime figures for the 2014-2015 financial year, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The ABS figures said Western Australia is the worst in terms of break-ins, motor vehicle theft and thefts from motor vehicles. According to the figures, thefts from motor vehicles affected 5.5 percent of households in 2014-15. This was almost double the Australian average of 2.9 per cent. House breaking hit more than five percent WA homes. That was far above the national average of 2.7 percent, reports News Corp.
According to police, WA homes were twice vulnerable to burglary when compared to states such as NSW (2 percent), Victoria (2.5 per cent) and South Australia (2.5 percent). The ABS stats also reported that 3.7 percent of WA households had been been the target of attempted break-ins.
Consequently, the insurance industry has reported a spurt in claims. The claims on home contents shot up 11 percent in fiscal 2015-16. “We have definitely seen a rise in the frequency of home contents theft claims,” said RAC insurance manager Glen Walker.
The rising thefts have forced the government to act. In November 2015, the state government introduced extremely tough home invasion laws. Under the law, thieves will face 15 years in jail for harming a person during burglary.
Meanwhile, Opposition Spokeswoman Michelle Roberts blamed the Barnett Government for the rising crime. She said the government had been “asleep at the wheel” in preventing crimes.
However, the Western Australia Government is expecting more results from the recent changes in the Frontline 2020 policing model. The new changes led to the deployment of almost 900 officers for tackling major crimes. They will target motor vehicle theft, burglary and family violence.
The office of the Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan said it was “acutely aware of the current pressures around volume crime and domestic violence.”
O’Callaghan also told a public inquiry panel that he would “work up to the wire” in the matter of strict policing. The panel is examining the methods in evaluating performance and management of police personnel. O’Callaghan scotched rumours on his retirement. He called them “nonsense.” The commissioner’s current contract will expire in August 2017, reports Perth Now.