Crims are getting the message
THE criminal and hooning fraternities are saying they are giving Cooroy a miss these days as it's too likely they'll get caught.
That's the main word from Cooroy Police Sergeant Mal Scott, following the highly successful introduction of CCTV cameras in the town's central business area.
Addressing the audience of the Mayoral Dinner at Cooroy's Saw & Mill restaurant last week, Sgt Scott said the cameras, combined with other technologies, forensics and good information from an engaged community all added up to lower crime statistics since the cameras were introduced last year.
"About 18 months ago we had a crime gang doing large-scale break-and-entering, and the matter was finalised in court a week or so ago,” Sgt Scott said.
"The main offender was sentenced to nine years jail.
"In total, offenders were charged with 197 offences including armed robberies, serious assaults and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
"It was brought to a head by one phone call from a member of the community, who said there was 'trouble in town'.
"The police service is only as good as the community that helps it. Without that phone call, they would have continued their crime spree.”
Sgt Scott also told of an offender who, over a 24hour period, stole a car in Cairns, drove down the highway and randomly chose our region to enact a series of 27 offences in Cooroy, Noosa, then Caboolture, and back in Cairns, committing other offences on the return journey.
"We used cameras and other technology to track him back to the car; two days later he was arrested by Cairns Police and is now in jail for 35 offences,” he said.
Sgt Scott also told of the idiot hoon who was caught doing a burnout outside Cooroy's Belvedere newsagency late one evening, again due to a community phone call.
"We tracked him down, and confiscated his car for 90 days,” he said.
Sgt Scott said the technology and community vigilance was effective, and "none of the Mitre 10 break-ins could have been solved without the CCTV, so I believe it has greatly reduced crime in the CBD”.
"News spreads among criminals and hoons; offenders have told us they are [now] aware of the cameras,” he said.
"That's perhaps not good news for elsewhere but it's certainly good news for Cooroy.”