Proactive public helps beat crime

BEING proactive will help stall WA’s growing crime rate, says Security Agents Institute of WA president Jerry Lee Jones.

Mr Jones, a key speaker at the first Business to Business Trade Show said, in his experience, 60 per cent to 70 per cent of people took measures to protect themselves and their property only after the event.

“That figure used to be much higher,” he said.

“We now have Safer WA making people more aware that they need to be involved in community protection.

“The WA Government has set up the Office of Crime Prevention where police officers come to a person’s house and advise them on security measures.

“And insurance companies are giving 10 per cent to 20 per cent discounts on contents insurance premiums for additional security measures such as window locks.

“There has also been a significant decrease in motor vehicle theft and that can be put down to immobilisers.

“The government needs to look at the promotion of other proactive crime fighting measures.”

Mr Jones said growing crime protection awareness in the community made it more risky for those that did not take measures to protect themselves.

“More people are opting for monitored alarm systems,” he said.

“You basically have someone babysitting your house. It has been a big growth area in the industry.”

The police only respond to Category B class alarms and very few home alarms fall into this area.

At one stage the police were attending between 90,000 and 100,000 alarm calls a year but only 2 per cent of those were bona fide.

“The police will only respond to an alarm call if they know an intruder is on the premises,” Mr Jones said.

He said the combination of factors such as community proactiveness, police and SAI links and Safer WA had been part of a five year plan to make inroads into WA’s crime rate.

“I feel we will be successful in cutting crime,” Mr Jones said.

“For the first time in some years, we’ve had a decrease in the crime rate according to the police.

“It’s not a significant decrease but it’s still a decrease.”

Mr Jones said local government’s hiring of security patrols would also help decrease the crime problem.

“The police’s primary function is to deal with things when a crime has occurred,” he said. “Security patrols help decrease crime by being the police’s eyes and ears.

“The Police Union has a problem with security patrols. But the security industry is not there to take jobs away from police.

“We’re there to work in collaboration with them.”

Several Perth councils have hired security patrols including Bayswater, Belmont, Melville and Stirling.

“In all cases their ratepayers said they wanted it,” Mr Jones said.

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