NSW Police are investigating a number of break-ins across the Northern Beaches after a woman’s home was targeted by six men in ski masks last month.
Manly Observer has been contacted by a number of residents who have been victim to home invasions, with concerns the crime is increasing. Police have confirmed they have increased patrols in response to the home invasions.
One resident in Freshwater told Manly Observer six men with ski masks and gloves broke into her home last month and stole phones, credit cards, alcohol and a BMW at about 1am (11 July). She said the men used the stolen credit cards to buy food at a McDonalds in Ermington and then went on a shopping spree at Westfield Parramatta.
The woman claimed she was told by police that gangs from western Sydney were targeting homes in the area. She said police told her that the gangs were using teenagers to make the break-ins ‘every second weekend’ and that three other homes in the Freshwater and Curl Curl areas were also targeted. We are also aware of events in Beacon Hill, Seaforth, Cromer and Brookvale.
Manly Observer contacted NSW Police about this and the three other incidents the woman mentioned but they refused to provide details.
“Investigations into reports of recent break and enters in the area are ongoing,” a NSW Police spokesperson said.
“In response, additional resources have been tasked to conduct proactive patrols during the hours which these incidents have been identified to occur.”
“Police remind the community to ensure their vehicles and homes are secured, and report anything suspicious to local police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”
CRIME FIGURES TELL A DIFFERENT STORY
While we may be more aware of local home invasions, the evidence doesn’t support concerns their frequency has increased – quite the reverse.
Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) figures reveal a gradual decrease each year in ‘break and enter dwelling’ across the Northern Beaches and in Manly in particular. In the 12 months to March 2022, there were 18 incidents of break and enter dwelling in Manly. This represents half the total of NSW, with a rate of incidents of 101.7 incidents per 100,000 population in Manly, compared to 212.8 incidents per 100,000 population across all of NSW.
A BOCSAR spokesperson said while the population of Manly is too small to establish a trend, across the Northern Beaches LGA there has been a significant decrease of 17% per year, on average, for break and enter dwelling over the last five years to March 2022.
“This is a trend we are seeing across most of NSW with recorded property crimes falling sharply during the lockdowns and remaining low beyond the lifting of community mobility restrictions,” the spokesperson said.
The Manly Observer spoke to Northern Beaches Police Area Commander Superintendent Pat Sharkey, who said local police continue to implement strategies to prevent and disrupt crime in the local area, including high-visibility proactive patrols, compliance operations, community engagement and education.
He urged the community to take steps to help prevent thieves targeting vehicles and property.
“Leaving your valuables in open view and forgetting to lock your vehicle or home can invite unwanted attention,” Supt Sharkey said.
“Even if your car is in the driveway of your home, never leave your keys or valuables inside. Ensure the entry points and windows of your home are always locked, even if you are there.”
Other offences in Manly are also decreasing, with domestic assaults going down from 38 in the year to March 2021 to 26 in the same period this year.
Malicious damage to property went down 48.5 per cent from 165 to 85.
Most other categories remained stable.
Below, a live press conference from late last year regarding one of many home invasions noted in the last the year.