Residents are fed up with crime - but they must stop making themselves vulnerable to opportunistic criminals, police say.
Petty theft is continuing to rise across the state and police are calling on community members to do what they can to stop offenders from having easy access to valuables and personal items.
Cars are being stolen with more than one a week ending up burnt out, data shows.
Theft in the Ballarat LGA increased by nearly 16 per cent in the last financial year, while burglaries were up by nearly 10 per cent.
Police cannot police their way out of rising crime, Leading Senior Constable Janine Walker says – it must be an entire community effort.
Acting Superintendent Zorka Dunstan said prevention was the key to reducing theft and its impact on the community.
“Please lock your houses, please lock your doors. Don’t make it easy for offenders,” Acting Supt. Dunstan said.
“We’re experiencing opportunistic crime – these people are really looking for the quick grabs. Don’t leave valuables in your cars, hide the iPad under the seat.”
Leading Senior Constable Walker said residents needed to ask simple questions like “Can I afford to re-buy presents?.
“We need to smarter about the way we move around the community, smarter about how we store things in our cars,” Leading Senior Constable Walker said.
The majority of offenders are not criminal masterminds, they simply are simply looking for any opportunity that allows them to get in and out of houses quickly.
To stop offenders from getting residents need to: lock their internal door, stop leaving the back door open,stop leaving keys in the garage or in the car, lock cars and ensure they have adequate lighting.
“The majority of offences occur because people are not locking their doors. We need to be more diligent to stop the rising crime that is occurring right across the state,” Leading Senior Constable Walker said.
“There is so much more the community can be doing to empower themselves against criminals.”
Leading Senior Constable Walker said security lighting, CCTV cameras also acted as a deterrent.
“The community really needs to start looking out for each other. If you see something suspicious contact police.