Crime stats ‘misleading’
CANNINGTON MLA Bill Johnston has hit out at flyers claiming crime is on the rise in Queens Park and East Cannington.
The flyers claim crime is up 41 per cent in East Cannington and 221 per cent in Queens Park, quoting figures published online by WA Police from March 2017 to March this year.
But Mr Johnston argued the information was misleading.
He cited overall figures across four suburbs – Beckenham, Queens Park, East Cannington and Cannington – for 2016 and 2017 that showed an overall decline in crime of 22 per cent.
“Community members should also be aware that entering their details at the web page provided on the flyer will result in their details being harvested by Liberal politician Steve Irons, despite the fact Mr Irons is not mentioned anywhere on the flyer,” Mr Johnston said.
The flyers, part of a more comprehensive letter drop, are authorised by the Liberal Party’s Sam Calabrese and promote a link called www.petition.org.au/fightoncrime.
The petition link identifies Steve Irons as the initiator of the petition, which claims the current government has cut the police budget by $27 million, including 200 police officers and staff.
Mr Irons said Premier Mark McGowan and Mr Johnston had to act now to reverse cuts to the police and tackle the growing crime problem in local suburbs.
“Labor promised the police a pay rise but after the election they broke their promise and police are worse off,” he told the Canning Times.
WA Police changed its methodology for crime reporting in July last year, so Canning Times looked at trends from last July to this March, the latest available figures.
It shows crime rates remained similar in East Cannington, with 30 offences in July last year and 34 reported in March.
Queens Park experienced a marked increase following 25 offences in July last year, with a peak in March this year of 90 offences, followed by 86 offences in February.
Assaults, burglaries, stealings and drug offences formed the bulk of the late summer spike.
Over the past decade, crime in Queens Park is trending slightly higher than in 2008-2009.
Cannington’s crime rate was fairly consistent, with 174 offences in July last year and 162 offences in March this year.
Crime in Cannington is trending down significantly from a decade ago and even two years ago when, at its highest levels, it recorded 2242 offences for 2015-16.
Beckenham’s crime rate is now at a similar level to that of 2008-09, with 742 offences reported so far this financial year.
Offences per month were down from 105 in July last year to 65 in March this year, with spikes in September and February.
In February the suburb experienced a spike in burglaries and drug offences.
The controversial flyers that have been appearing in letterboxes in Cannington and Queens Park.