The Narrabri region’s Police Inspector Robert Dunn is urging the community to adopt the ‘lock it or lose it’ campaign and make sure vehicles and valuables are secure.

“We recognise there has been an increase in property-related crime and we have strategies in place to combat it,” said Insp Dunn.

“For the most part, it’s been opportunistic.

“Committing a crime isn’t right, but please don’t present people with an opportunity by allowing them free access.”

Insp Dunn said it’s crucial people call Triple-0 if there’s a disturbance or suspected crime.

“If we don’t know about it, we can’t formulate a strategy,” he said.

“I am concerned if there’s one break-and-enter but a string really raises my concerns, and we are adopting strategies.

“We also need to work with the community to identify and prosecute the offenders.”

Insp Dunn said police arrested and charged a young man in Narrabri last week with stealing items from inside a vehicle. Insp Dunn said the young man pleaded guilty to larceny and was given a nine-month good behaviour bond. He said the offender has been released on bail by the court.

Insp Dunn said the young man had been released on bail a week before his arrest for stealing property from a motor vehicle and in a previous incident, he had allegedly broken into someone’s home and allegedly produced a knife when confronted by the occupant.

“We have managed to retrieve most of the property.”

Insp Dunn said police would continue to crack down on crime around the shire.

Some Wee Waa residents have already adopted the ‘lock it or lose it’ campaign with security being stepped up at Karinga Village following a spate of break-ins that have left residents scared and fed-up.

Karinga Village is an aged-care residence in Wee Waa that offers independent living for older members of the community.

“It’s disgraceful,” said Donna Phillips who attended a security meeting at Karinga recently as a concerned citizen.

“Our elderly community deserves better,” she said.

“How would they like it if someone treated their grandparents this way?”.

The Karinga committee are organising security cameras, and through Namoi Care Connect have also organised VitalCALLs for residents.

A VitalCALL is a personal alarm device that can be worn as a pendant or bracelet. It is equipped with a button that can be pressed when assistance is required.

At the meeting, community members and residents suggested more police patrols would help and warned “elderly people in town are being targeted”.

“In the old days we had patrols on foot,” said resident Arthur Eve.

“It was the most wonderful thing.”

Eighty-six-year-old Arthur Eve, who had his vehicle stolen earlier this year, isn’t taking any chances and has chained his car to a large tree in an effort to stop it from being stolen again.

“It broke my heart when it happened,” he said.

Police later recovered the vehicle and returned it to Mr Eve.

At the meeting, the Karinga committee said it would continue to work to ensure the safety of residents and to protect the elderly “from gutless thrill seekers”.

The committee’s proactive approach is a great reflection of the wonderful and caring people who live in Wee Waa.

“The police who attended the break-and-enters spent some time with the victims, reviewing areas that could make them less vulnerable,” said Insp Dunn who is also committed to catching the offenders.

“I always would like to see closer police involvement with repeat victims, as is clearly the case here.”

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