Crime stats ‘mis­lead­ing’

Canning Times - - NEWS - Jaime Shurmer

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.

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