Everything Geraldton has been swamped with break in reports today in suburbs ranging from Woorree, Strathalbyn, Mahomets, Northampton, Glenfield, Geraldton, Moresby and others. A female was hospitalised after being assaulted in her home by an intruder this morning. The assault occurred around 8am, half an hour after her boyfriend had left for work. The suspect is described as dark skinned and a teenager, and was not known to the victim.
Some Geraldton residents have taken it upon themselves to rally support for action to see crime reduced in Geraldton, forming a Facebook group called Geraldton Residents Demand Our Streets Back. The group has attracted over 1000 members in just a few days, and is planning to organise a march through town. (Note, the group is not associated with Everything Geraldton).
Local politicians have been silent on the matter, with local member for Geraldton in the state government Ian Blayney earlier claiming the liberal government had already fulfilled its pre-election commitment to increase police in regional areas. We asked before the election and just recently how many extra police would be stationed in the Geraldton area, and have still not had a firm number.
Lots of community members have reached out to Everything Geraldton asking to be kept informed about the crime situation, and thanking us for letting them know when something in their street or suburb has occurred. Some stolen items have even been able to be returned after the details were published. Others have criticised Everything Geraldton for reporting on the recent spike in crime, claiming people don't want to be constantly fed negative news.
Some community members have started using the Everything Geraldton smartphone app to inform each other when an incident takes place.
Family members of local police have stuck up for the often criticised force, saying that police in Geraldton are stretched thin, and criticism at their response times is being misdirected. They say more resources need to be provided to local police by the government.
Geraldton is not alone in seeing a recent spike in crime. Kalgoorlie-Boulder residents have claimed they too have noticed a recent surge in crime over the last few weeks, and after an elderly woman was allegedly bashed by a youth last night, people there seem to have had enough. They have also formed a group to tackle the matter. The group is meeting with their local police to see what can be done, and is also turning to social media to keep each other informed.