Property crime is still very high across the Dalby-Burnett Patrol Group, with many victims losing valuable items through criminal activity.
Through addressing three main components of property crime, we may better understand the nature of this crime and hopefully reduce it in our area, so who better to explain the key components of property crime than Lego men?
1. The Motivated Offender
The first component we need to address is The Motivated Offender. He commits crime for various reasons; this may be disenfranchised youth who see their peers with items they themselves can’t afford, it may be someone who doesn’t have the items and needs them for work themselves. It could be to pay for expensive drug, alcohol or gambling addictions. It could even be as simple as to fit into a group and a sense of belonging.
Whatever the reason, this one isn’t as obvious as the Lego man looks; he doesn’t get around in stripes – sometimes it’ll be in work gear, contractors gear or head-to-toe in black. He’s well-equipped; he has breaking implements and a means to move the items like a ute or a van. Sometimes he has a buddy to help him out. Very often he’ll sus the place out first, do a reconnaissance on the property and familiarise himself with the layout and current security measures.
2. The Victim
The Victim is the poor little guy who has something that the Motivated Offender wants. Whether it be valuable electronic items, tools, vehicles, weapons, fuel… the list goes on. To be a good victim, he has to be an attractive target to the offender. This means he may not have very good security measures in place to protect his valuables.
3. A Capable Guardian
Now, a Capable Guardian comes in many forms – the first that comes to mind is a police officer. Considering the size of the Dalby-Burnett Patrol Group, unfortunately we don’t have enough officers to guard every dwelling and business around the clock. Police can do their best with proactive patrols, however can’t be everywhere all the time. So other Capable Guardians need to assist us. These can come in many forms like security guards, a friendly neighbour who can check on your property, farm hands, a house sitter, a guard dog, or even CCTV footage. Whilst there is a Capable Guardian, the work of criminals reduces significantly.
So what can we do to target these three components? You can do this by reporting crimes, even if they seem insignificant or you’re not intending on claiming insurance. The evidence police gather from the scene could be the key in solving multiple crimes and putting these offenders before a court. Report all suspicious activity – police love intel. If a person or vehicle attends your property you suspect may not be a legitimate tradesperson, call Crime Stoppers with a description and the vehicle registration.
Keep a list, serial numbers and receipts of all your valuable items. You can even mark your items with an engraver with your own personalised mark so we can identify found property as yours. An idea is to put the letter Q, followed by your date of birth, then your initials. E.g. Q07111982JL. This is your mark.
Lock your houses up. Don’t think they won’t target you, unfortunately these people are targeting the trusting and laid back nature of country folk. Configure other ways to lock up your sheds. Make the locks difficult to access, like covers over padlocks so bolt cutters can’t be used. Many of these people come prepared with bolt cutters.
Please don’t make it obvious that you are away. Network and watch each others farms. If you are storing items in sheds and leaving them unattended for a significant amount of time, the date range can make it difficult to narrow down offence times. Get someone to check on your stuff! And repay the favour.
CCTV! The best places police would love to see CCTV is of access/ entry points to your farms, sheds and dwellings. Remember, no one likes ‘Dandruff Cam’ so cameras placed up high looking down at people’s heads isn’t effective. At face height, where we can see faces and registration plates is best. Signs up around the place with CCTV can also prevent offenders.
Through acknowledging that crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility and giving attention to each of the three components of property crime, we can hopefully reduce and solve crime in the Dalby Burnett Patrol Group.
If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.
You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.