Mullewa takes a momentary sigh of relief as crime rate returns to normal following youth offending spree
Mullewa’s crime rate has fallen to almost zero in the past month, according to the town’s top cop, as a group of troublesome youths responsible for a spate of crime remain away from the community.
A crime wave hit the small Mid West town in September and October, with close to 60 offences reported to police in six weeks.
Almost all the crimes are attributed to a group of five teenage boys, who were arrested and charged with burglary, stealing, car theft and criminal damage offences.
But with two of the boys remaining in custody until January and the others staying away from town, the local crime rate has plummeted.
Mullewa Police Station officer-in-charge Sgt Max Walker said November had been very quiet for his officers, with only “a couple of burglaries”.
“At this stage, there has been a significant drop in crime in the last six to eight weeks,” he said.
“It’s looking like at this stage we would expect that to continue.”
A Mullewa resident, who didn’t want to be named, told the Guardian there were still problems in town but some residents didn’t bother to report them.
“We need more funding and a greater focus on mental health issues — that’s one of the biggest problems for these kids,” they said.
“The problem is it isn’t just the break-ins, there are drug and alcohol-related problems, domestic violence problems.
“As a community, Mullewa isn’t equipped to deal with it.” The resident, who had their business broken into in August, said the whole community was fearful of what would happen when the teenagers returned to town.
“You can’t sit at home and protect your home for ever and ever,” they said.
“People want to go away for Christmas, but several people have told me they aren’t going away because they don’t want their house broken into it.”
Sgt Walker said police and social services had been working with the families of the troublesome youths to create a support network.
“We don’t have anyone of them returning to town in the short term,” he said. “But the real test will be when and if some of them return and what transpires from there. We will be heavily engaging with the families once they do return so we can try to deter them from reoffending.”
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