Wheatbelt cops for Fitzroy
Police from the Wheatbelt will be deployed in Fitzroy Crossing to increase engagement between the local station and the community in the face of increasing crime levels.
Kimberley District Superintendent Allan Adams said four extra officers started on October 23.
“We’ve been under pressure there for quite a while around increasing crime levels. We tried a number of different things, utilising the men and women who work at Fitzroy as well, with help from the district, but it hasn’t worked,” he said.
“With crime being high policing has been reactive.
“We know in the Kimberley . . . you need to be on front foot engaging community, talking about problems and not waiting until some critical incident and calling for help.
“Especially with juvenile-related crime, and alcohol coming into the community you want to know early what’s going on.”
Supt Adams said having the extra officers would help police get on the our front foot and hopefully allow them to establish some programs to engage children in the town.
He said there was no set time period for how long the officers would be based in Fitzroy.
Fitzroy Crossing currently does not employ any community relations officers or police dedicated to youth engagement.
Supt Adams said the lack of housing, a common problem for many businesses and organisations in Fitzroy, made it difficult to accommodate more staff.
“We’re looking at how we can remedy that,” he said.
“I have met with government, speaking about that being the biggest impediment.
“That doesn’t negate the need to do something different.”
Overall, the Kimberley has had a good run of late with a reduction in volume crime for the October school holidays compared to last year.
There were 33 fewer burglaries for the period, 18 fewer stolen motor vehicles and 28 fewer stealing offences.
On the flip side there were 19 more damage offences.