Youth crime rates slashed over holidays

Glenn CordingleyBroome Advertiser

Police have put an across-the-board reduction in youth crime in the Kimberley over the school holidays down to agencies uniting and offering young people a “bit of fun”.

Kimberley District Superintendent Allan Adams said police “got on the front foot” with other parties this year and made several postings on social media about working with local children and youths during the holidays.

“The PCYC played a part, along with the youth hub, the Broome Recreation and Aquatic Centre and the police in organising activities for kids,” he said.

“What we have been successful at is stopping the hanger-on kids becoming involved in crime during the school holidays, but we still have problems with the most recidivist ones because they don’t engage in school holiday programs.

“We are trying to engage those more-at-risk kids from their criminal behaviour perspective.”

Supt Adams said the multi-faceted approach has been good at identifying children in the high-risk category by offering them fun activities.

“We have seen a real reduction in that first-time offender behaviour during school holidays, which I think is a good result, but we are still trying to tackle those recidivist kids that offend — we still haven’t got that nailed,” he said.

During the two-week period from September 25 to October 8 in Broome, there were 20 burglaries, compared with 35 at the same time last year.

Motor vehicle the thefts fell from 12 to seven, thefts went from 34 to 20 and acts of damage dropped from 23 to 20. The situation was similar across the region, with 33 fewer burglaries (55-88), 18 fewer stolen motor vehicles (17-35) and 28 fewer stealing offences (44-72).

But 19 more damage incidents were reported (73-54). To complement the reduction in offences, Kimberley police still achieved the best sanction rates (charging offenders) for burglary and motor vehicle theft in WA.

Supt Adams said the reductions represented a lot fewer people affected by crime.

He said the school holidays posed a challenging period for police, with historical increases in property related crimes and damage.

“A lot of people would say 20 burglaries (in Broome) in a two-week period was unacceptable and they will not hear any argument from me,” he said. “But when you compare it to the 35 we had the previous year, we have done a lot better.”

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

Sign up for our emails