As Mount Isa nears its peak period for property crime, local police are ready to disrupt and prevent criminal activity over the Christmas holidays.
The North West Star spoke to Mount Isa Police Officer in Charge Senior Sergeant Renee Hanrahan about the busy Christmas crime period and what locals and police can do to reduce opportunities for offenders.
"The Christmas holidays definitely sees an increase of crime activities. December is typically our spike in property offending just the factors of kids being on holidays, more people around town and the opportunity arises with people going away on holidays," Snr Sgt Hanrahan said.
"There is a measurable increase in crime that we pre-plan around and we expect it and try to put measures in place to reduce it."
Snr Sgt Hanrahan said Mount Isa Police were working to disrupt and prevent activity where they could.
"Obviously solving crime is great but the true measure of success is the absence of crime in the first place, so we are always trying to get to that scenario where it is prevented or disrupted," she said.
"We look at things like targeted patrols, shift allocations and a different roster across peak times and trying to engage with all our families and services as we know that the crime issues have a foundation in social dysfunction and work it around those factors."
Property offending is the main type of offending over the Christmas period which includes unlawful entry of vehicles, private dwellings and businesses.
Snr Sgt Hanrahan offered some tips to residents, to reduce the opportunity for property offending.
"It is important that we remember that the responsibility for offending sits with those who are committing the criminal acts and that is where we want to direct our attention. However it would be silly of us not to realise that there as steps that we can take to limit the opportunity and impact on ourselves and the heartbreak especially at Christmas time," she said.
"We are asking residents to make sure they are locking vehicles and removing anything from site. Even just a few coins is enough for offenders to break a window. Over half of the cases we have vehicles have property visible inside.
"For local vehicles that are stolen, over half of the vehicles have the keys in them or unlocked. Have the keys stored somewhere else in the home, we all tend to keep them on the kitchen bench but having them with you and that small step of removing them can limit the impact someone else's offending can have on you.
"Also let your neighbours know if you're going to be away, so someone is keeping an eye on your property. Also making arrangements for your wheelie bin to be taken out, things that would indicate that someone is still at the premises."
Snr Sgt Hanrahan said "police focus is on the offenders, however we hate to see residents victimised, so everyone needs to do what they can."
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