Over the past 24 months there has been a 61.9 per cent increase in the breaking and entering of non-residential properties in Kempsey, the latest NSW crime statistics have revealed.
Non-residential properties are any dwellings that people do not live in such as local offices, businesses or schools.
While break-and-enter crimes for non-residential properties increased by 61.9 percent, the same crime for residential properties dropped by 39.1 per cent over the past 24 months.
Residential properties include houses, apartments or any other premises where people live.
The most common crime in Kempsey was malicious damage to property while crimes of domestic violence were the third most common offence.
Inspector Campbell of the Kempsey Police Force said local police officers regularly target any hotspot areas where there is an increase in break-and-enter crimes.
“If we do get information about certain hotspot areas we will saturate those areas.
“What we do find is that, generally, there will be spate of break and enters and generally one or two people are responsible for that spate. We can get on top of those criminals, make arrests, put them in jail and then they stop.”
Insp Campbell said monitored security alarms, quality CCTV equipment and bright lights are the best tools for deterring criminals and preventing break-in crimes.
“Monitored security alarms are probably the best form of security to deter break-ins and there is value in good quality CCTV footage,” Insp Campbell told the Argus.
“Lighting is also a big deterrent - anything that makes it hard for a criminal to enter your premises.”
Speaking to the Argus, Kempsey council’s project officer, community safety Marilyn Breen said council is implementing a number of projects aimed at increasing safety and reducing crime across the shire.
“As part of a long term strategy, council introduced a pilot CCTV project in the Clyde St Mall in Kempsey in 2015. The positive impact of this pilot led to council securing NSW Government funding to install 43 CCTV cameras this year in the CBDs of Crescent Head, South West Rocks and Kempsey.
“Council is committed to crime prevention through environmental design and the next stage of measures will include the installation of lighting in parks that connect people to our central shopping and recreational areas in Brighton Park, South West Rocks, Riverside Park, Kempsey, South Kempsey and Crescent Head.
“The Federal Government funding for this project will also include additional CCTV cameras in West Kempsey and South Kempsey to help deter crime and anti-social behaviour,” Ms Breen said.