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21 May 2020

INDUSTRY AND POLICE SIGN A PACT TO BEAT CONSTRUCTION SITE THEFT

Construction industry groups have joined forces with the WA Police Force to launch the Partnership Against Crime Taskforce (PACT) with the aim of curbing theft on Western Australian construction sites.

The signatories to the PACT Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) are the WA Police Force, security specialists Braven Group Services, Master Builders WA (MBAWA), the Urban Development Institute of Australia WA (UDIA), and the Civil Contractors Federation WA (CCF).

Central to the PACT program is an online crime reporting platform, where building and construction contractors can quickly and conveniently report crime that may previously have gone unreported. There is also a 24/7 phone number for members of the community to report crime and suspicious activity.

Braven will work with WA Police, ensuring all incidents are recorded, and sharing information that will assist in investigating the crime and improve the likelihood of the offenders being caught.

“WA Police Community Engagement Division Executive Manager Mr Bernie Durkin recognises that building site crime creates a huge unnecessary cost to industry and the consumer. There is a cost to repair damaged property, replace stolen items and a cost to conduct investigations. WA Police fully support this partnership to assist with building site crime reduction.”

“Building site theft and vandalism has been a major issue in the Building and Construction industry over many years. The significant financial costs to builders and consumers along with the emotional stress to delayed completion times impacts both the community and industry alike,” said Master Builders Executive Director John Gelavis

“The PACT program would allow incidences of site theft and vandalism to be reported and investigated more effectively, reducing crime while saving police resources,” Mr Gelavis said.

“From a developer’s perspective, this is such an important initiative given the obvious financial implications of theft and vandalism, however community safety is also critical, and at the end of the day we want to foster strong, cohesive and safe neighbourhoods,” UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck said.

“This pact not only addresses the significant cost impact of theft and vandalism, it adds a level of comfort for residents knowing that their street or neighbourhood is being closely monitored and any crime will be reported swiftly,” Ms Steinbeck said.

Civil Contractors Federation WA CEO Andy Graham said CCF WA was proud to be part of this important initiative.

“While theft from building sites is probably more visible to the community, civil contractors are also constantly under attack from opportunistic thieves,” he said.

“On civil sites the main targets for theft include fuel, plant and machinery, copper pipe and electrical cable. Often, the damage done by thieves will be worse than the theft itself – for example, they will cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to steal a few hundred dollars’ worth of diesel, or they will rip out newly installed underground cable, requiring costly and time-consuming rework in addition to the value of the cable.” he said.

Braven Group Services Director Craig Pages-Oliver said partnerships such as PACT had enormous potential to reduce crime and provide a significant saving of police resources.

“PACT will provide a conduit for businesses and the community to report crime with minimal effort,” Mr Pages-Oliver said.

“This will mean more crimes are reported and we can build up a more accurate picture of the extent of construction industry crime.”

“We’ll be able to ‘map’ the incident reports to identify high-crime areas, and demonstrate where more policing resources are needed.”

“And by doing some of the preliminary investigative work, we will assist WA Police to identify and apprehend offenders.” Mr Pages-Oliver concluded.

MEDIA CONTACTS
UDIA WA: Gemma Osiejak. E: gosiejak@udiawa.com.au M: 0421 506 819
MBA: John Gelavis E: john@mbawa.com M: 0428 884 392
CCF: Andy Graham E: agraham@ccfwa.com.au M: 0458 737 777
BRAVEN: Craig Pages-Oliver E: craig@braven.net.au M: 418 906 060
WA Police: Bernie Durkin E: Bernie.DURKIN@police.wa.gov.au M: 0403124932