Property theft is a key issue in West End, Officer in Charge, Senior Sergeant Geoff Douglas, told The Westender.

Senior Sergeant Douglas said that the West End Police are dealing with recurring issues concerning insecure underground car-parks in high-rise buildings, particularly as this type of dwelling is becoming so prominent in the area.

These underground car-parks provide a “target rich environment for the opportunistic thief.”

On the 4th April West End Police Station launched a community engagement / crime prevention project titled ‘Operation Stopwatch’.

The QPS is working with the owners and operators of the apartment buildings, by providing crime-prevention advice and sharing information about persons of interest who may be targeting certain areas.

The primary goal of Operation Stopwatch,” Senior Sergeant Douglas said, “Is to build a positive and effective relationship between the QPS at West End and local multi-level apartment building managers and operators. We can then collaborate to prevent crime associated with multi-level residential buildings and maintain the safety of the communities living there”.

Senior Sergeant Douglas said that West End Police recognised the need to develop collaborative relationships with the operators and managers of these buildings, and work together to disrupt, deter and stop crime and keep their communities safe.  This is due to the continued development of multi-level residential apartment buildings in the Kurilpa Peninsula, the increasing numbers of residents now residing within these types of communities, and the fact that many of the buildings are accounting for an increasing percentage of reported property crime within the division.

The project essentially emerged from face to face work the front line officers stationed at West End had undertaken over the last 12 months with some building managers, who then made available to West End police their individual building / underground car park entry fobs or swipes to enable quick access to their venues in an emergency requiring police.

With further assessment and consultation with venue operators and managers, Senior Sergeant Douglas said Police further developed this front line approach evolving it into the broader crime prevention and community engagement project ‘Operation Stopwatch’.

As well as continuing to respond to calls for assistance and reported crime at these apartment venues, and also conducting crime prevention patrols, Senior Sergeant Douglas said West End Police will support the venue management via relevant information sharing and the provision of specific crime prevention methodologies to assist them reduce the likelihood their venue or residents become a victim of such as:

  • Stealing from underground car parks
  • Stealing from motor vehicles
  • Stealing of motor vehicles
  • Wilful damage to property, including Graffiti
  • Fraud – credit card, short term accommodation offences etc
  • Temporary room hire for criminal activity, such as drug production and supply

 West End Police tips for users of underground carparks

The simple message for unit owner, is to:

  • always lock your car
  • do not leave anything of value in it.
  • do not assume storage cages are safe from break-in
  • still secure bicycles with cable locks etc inside the storage cage
  • Record bicycle serial numbers via West End Serial Hub
  • Install a visual barrier (e.g. hessian, tarpaulin, ply wood panels) around the inside of storage cage
  • when entering secure car park wait for gate to close before driving on
  • report lost or stolen car park access fobs / swipes to building managers
  • report suspicious persons / vehicles observed in car parks to Police