Yarn yields re­sults

Pilbara News - - News - Peter de Krui­jff

An el­ders yarn in Roe­bourne has re­sulted in a con­cen­trated po­lice ef­fort to rid the town of street drink­ing this month.

Roe­bourne has been syn­ony­mous with the deaths in cus­tody de­bate, and con­se­quently, for hav­ing a his­tor­i­cally rocky re­la­tion­ship with the po­lice and some mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.

How­ever, the re­la­tion­ship has de­vel­oped in a pos­i­tive di­rec­tion in re­cent years.

An el­ders yarn is held ev­ery few months in the town where some of the most re­spected men and women of the re­gion speak of lo­cal is­sues while mem­bers of gov­ern­ment de­part­ments, not-for­profit, and po­lice pa­tiently lis­ten and speak when called upon.

At one of the yarns this year el­ders spoke of loud par­ties and rub­bish in the street not ben­e­fit­ing the com­mu­nity.

So be­gan Op­er­a­tion Maa­lik, Ara­bic for an an­gel in pur­ga­tory who dishes out hell­fire, headed by Roe­bourne’s Se­nior Con­sta­ble Jeremy Dickinson.

Sen. Const. Dickinson said af­ter look­ing at sta­tis­tics from June to Au­gust this year, there had been an es­ca­lat­ing num­ber of vi­o­lent of­fences with the big­gest con­tribut­ing fac­tor be­ing al­co­hol and drug abuse, as well as an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour which could es­ca­late into as­saults.

“Be­cause of this we de­cided to see if we could re­duce the num­ber of as­saults by tar­get­ing the mi­nor of­fences,” he said. “We’re do­ing a lot of proac­tive pa­trols to iden­tify hot spots early, see­ing where par­ties are start­ing to kick up in the early af­ter­noon and then just re­mind­ing peo­ple about the re­spon­si­ble con­sump­tion of al­co­hol.

“At the start of the op and prior (Au­gust) we started con­sult­ing with mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, and the vibe we got was peo­ple were sick of the amount of of­fences oc­cur­ring in the streets.”

As of last week they had made 86 charges in to­tal re­lated to liquor, drugs, and an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iours.

There had also been 15 liquor in­fringe­ments, 15 liquor cau­tions, and three court charges for liquor of­fences. Sen. Const. Dickinson said they were no longer see­ing peo­ple walk­ing around with open con­tain­ers.

Roe­bourne res­i­dent of 45 years An­gus Smith has brought his con­cer ns to the po­lice in the past.

He said be­fore the op­er­a­tion peo­ple would ring up the po­lice when neigh­bours were play­ing mu­sic loudly on a weeknight and get a mixed re­sult.

“You’d ring the po­lice four or five times, and no an­swer,” he said. “To­day things have def­i­nitely qui­etened down.

“Things have def­i­nitely changed — and for the bet­ter too … I walk ev­ery af­ter­noon with my kids, and the path­ways are clean.”

Mr Smith hopes the trend will con­tinue and wants the com­mu­nity, po­lice, and City of Kar­ratha to con­tinue work­ing to­gether to im­prove the town.

“The Roe­bourne po­lice of­fice had ex­tra re­sources from the Pil­bara Dis­trict for the month-long op­er­a­tion. How­ever, to keep mo­men­tum go­ing, it will take both the com­mu­nity and lo­cal po­lice work­ing to­gether.

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