Wheat­belt cops for Fitzroy

Broome Advertiser - - News - Peter de Krui­jff

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.

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