Esperance Police have urged residents to protect themselves against burglary and theft after a rise in crime across town in recent months.
Esperance Police senior sergeant Justin Tarasinski said there had been a spike in offences during the past six weeks, with the suburbs of Esperance and Sinclair hit the hardest, followed by West Beach and Castletown.
Senior sergeant Tarasinski said Esperance Police and Detectives had worked to proactively target known offenders and had charged nine adults and eight juveniles with a total of 78 offences.
"Property-type offences, such as burglary and stealing, cause significant harm and trauma to victims and the community," he said.
"People have the right to feel safe inside their own homes without having offenders invading their privacy and stealing their hard-earned valuables.
"We will continue to vigorously pursue any person who chooses to cause this sort of harm to the community."
A number of stolen items had already been recovered and returned to owners.
Senior sergeant Tarasinski stressed there had been an equal amount of burglary offences committed during daylight hours and the community should report any suspicious activity directly to police.
"Inside the last month, there were two separate incidents of suspicious activity that was placed on Facebook, however, police were never called and weren't notified until almost an hour later," he said.
"On both occasions, offenders were active in the area and a number of offences were reported to us that may have been preventable had those calls been received at the first opportunity."
He said it is was not the victim's fault if they were targeted, however, everyone in the community should ensure their belongings were secure.
"We should be able to live in a trusting and safe environment where you can forget to remove a valuable item from your vehicle or forget to lock your front door when you go to bed, unfortunately, that is not the case," he said.
"Please try and make it as difficult as you can for the crooks to target you."
Residents are advised to remove valuable items from their vehicles and make sure all doors and windows to their homes are locked, even when inside or in the backyard.
"If a viable option, consider CCTV which has been a significant help for police," Senior sergeant Tarasinski said.
"Get to know your neighbours and lookout for each other, particularly when you're away from your home."
A Youth Crime Officer will join the Esperance Police later this month in an effort to address youth crime.
Esperance Police will invite members of the community to have their say at a crime forum later this year.