Extra police on alert for summer surge, says Geraldton's top cop

Sen. Sgt Chris MartinGeraldton Guardian
Geraldton Police Station officer in charge Senior Sergeant Chris Martin.
Camera IconGeraldton Police Station officer in charge Senior Sergeant Chris Martin. Credit: Liam Beatty/Geraldton Guardian

As the weather warms up, so too do the hot fingers of opportunistic criminals.

In my 20 years as a policeman, burglaries, stealing and damage to cars have generally increased in the summer months as drink flows and parties go on later into the night.

That’s why it’s so important for everyone to remain vigilant over the festive season. It’s said every summer, but please keep your windows closed at night, and try not to make it known when you’re going away over the Christmas break.

We’ll be doing our part. With Operation Heat Shield coming into effect, we’ll have the funds to put more police on patrol in key areas. Last summer we saw 2773 arrests across the State thanks to the additional funding.

As we’ve seen down in Margaret River over the past week, the warm weather also brings an increased fire risk.

I’d like to thank the community for their support in Operation Vulcan, dealing with recent fires in Waggrakine. Total fire bans are in place for the greater Geraldton area, but unfortunately that hasn’t stopped some young offenders from taking to our dry bushland.

Our community is a great place for kids to play and explore, but I would urge parents to keep tabs on what your kids are up to, as some of the firebugs we’ve found are as young as nine. Take the time to teach them about bushfires, because the consequences are very far-reaching.

The weather it seems has also got the best of our favourite public art.

I’m never sure what to call it - the horizon ball, sphere, or big round thing that was on the foreshore.

We’ve conducted an investigation into its sudden explosion, and I’m confident in saying it was just a natural consequence of the hot Geraldton sun.

It’s sad to see it go. I’ve got some great family pictures there, and I don’t think I’m alone in saying I hope it gets replaced.

I’ll be out on the beat over New Years along with plenty of our local officers, so if you see me about, come and say hello.

I’d like to take opportunity to thank the community for the assistance they have been giving the police over the last 12 months. We have a had a very busy and successful year, responding to crime and keeping the community safe. The community’s assistance has been paramount in keeping our wonderful city safe and a welcoming place to live.

To all the local crime preventing groups, armchair detectives and social media private eyes, thank you for all your help and advice during 2021. We look forward to your assistance in 2022.

I hope you all have a safe festive season, and here’s hoping 2022 is kinder to us all.

Sen. Sgt Chris Martin is officer in charge at Geraldton Police Station.

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