South Australia Police are targeting thieves and vandals in a widespread operation following a disappointing increase in property crime.
Recent statistics show while Offences Against the Person are down across the board, Offences Against Property increased by 14% in the rolling year to the end of March 2020.
Serious Criminal Trespass at non-residences spiked by 16% with thieves targeting sheds on private properties, sporting facilities and businesses.
Minister for Police Corey Wingard said the increase is extremely disappointing, but he praised SAPOL for their tough response.
“There will always be unscrupulous individuals looking to benefit personally during times of crisis, unfortunately that’s just human nature,” the Minister said.
“In response to a rise in break-ins, car thefts and aggravated robberies SAPOL has launched Operation Hurricane 2, specifically targeting areas identified as hot spots.
“As part of Operation Hurricane 2 a significant number of additional resources from across SAPOL have been proactively targeting repeat offenders and criminal hot spots with a view to disrupting criminal activities. Since 10 March 2020, 1,093 people have been apprehended.
“SAPOL continues to maintain crime prevention advice and messaging to the public to ensure they increase their own security where possible, for example installing alarms, ensuring doors are locked and valuables are left out of sight.
“The Marshall Government has just passed stricter bail laws applicable during the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning anyone caught committing a break-in will be presumed at law to be not eligible for bail unless special circumstances exist under these temporary measures.
“It is encouraging to see that crimes being committed against members of our community are down overall. There’s been a significant decrease (-12%) in aggravated sexual assaults and also in harassment (-28%).
“We are a Government that is tough on crime. Since 2018 we have invested more than $80 million into the safety and security of our State.
“We’ve increased the number of police on the beat, we’re equipping them with new gear and we’ve extended police station opening hours.