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Give your loved ones the gift of safety this Christmas, says Geraldton top cop

With the warmer weather now upon us it’s the perfect time to consider the measures you and your family are taking to stay safe out on the water.

The Mid West has a higher-than-average number of water-related accidents, and the last thing we want is an ocean tragedy this summer.

When you’re out fishing on a boat, make sure it is fitted with an emergency position indicating radio beacon, known as an EPIRB.

Every year in Geraldton there are several sea rescue operations.

Some are unavoidable, some are very avoidable.

It’s a big ocean out there, so if you have an EPIRB on it makes it much easier to find you and get you home as safely as possible.

Last time I looked you can get one for about $100. It’s worth the investment, and if you’re fresh out of ideas for Christmas presents they would make a nice stocking stuffer.

Speaking of the festive season, it’s generally a time when we see an increase in criminal activity.

People are always busy when they go out shopping for presents and can sometimes leave personal items unattended.

Just be mindful that some people in the community will be out there trying to take advantage of the situation and target you, so keep your bags and valuables close to you at all times.

If you’re going out into the shopping centre, please lock your car. Don’t have any valuables on show, because we do continue to see those vehicles broken into all over Geraldton — and not just at shopping centres.

The Christmas period will be a welcome relief for a lot of people considering we’ve had another tough year with the pandemic.

Enjoy yourselves, but please be responsible with driving.

There’s going to be a lot of traffic enforcement officers in Geraldton around Christmas and New Year. The likelihood of you being stopped by police is a lot higher for a random breath test.

My advice would be to try to book a taxi or try to organise a responsible driver so you can get home safely.

You may feel great, but you might be over the limit.

The last thing you want to do is lose your licence over Christmas.

Sen. Sgt Chris Martin isofficer-in-charge atGeraldton Police Station.

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