Agencies, MP ride with cops
Police and State Government agencies have joined forces to crackdown to prevent crime in Roebourne.
Joint patrols by police and senior staff from the Department for Child Protection and Family Support regional office have become a regular feature of Friday nights in Roebourne in recent months, and have more recently been joined by local representatives from the Housing Authority.
They are being carried out as part of WA Police Operation Double Shot, targeting burglaries, thefts, property damage and domestic violence in the Pilbara District.
Roebourne police officer-incharge Senior Sergeant Gemma Hennigan said there had been a mixed response to the patrols from community members so far but agencies involved had found them beneficial.
“The community are now aware that as government agencies we all work together, we communicate and we collaborate. So what we do as police, the Department for Child Protection and Department of Housing know about,” she said.
“I think it’s important that other agencies see what is occurring after hours and we can then work together to more effectively address some of these complex issues.”
Department for Child Protection and Family Support staff are involved to address the problem of juvenile offenders who Sen. Sgt Hennigan said made up a big proportion of the crimes targeted.
DCPFS director-general Emma White said the joint patrols streamlined their work in Roebourne to benefit local children and families.
“Reducing crime and increasing safety of children and supporting families who are in crisis or not coping is the goal of these patrols,” she said.
Sen. Sgt Hennigan said police intended to review the joint patrols initiative when Operation Double Shot finished at the end of this month in the hopes they might continue afterwards.
More recently, Housing Authority senior staff and Pilbara MLA Brendon Grylls have joined several patrols.
Housing Authority director-general Paul Whyte said they helped staff to monitor disruptive behaviour in government-owned properties first-hand and develop an early response.
“As the majority of disruptive behaviour occurs outside of regular hours, it enables us to address the disruptive behaviour at the time it’s happening, rather than dealing with complaints from neighbours in the following days,” he said.
Mr Whyte said the ride-alongs had already produced results for them as two properties often-visited by police had since applied to become liquor-restricted.
Mr Grylls was invited to join a patrol on Friday, May 30.
“It doesn’t hurt to get a perspective as to what is happening after hours,” he said.
“I’ve got great respect for the police and that was justified in seeing some of the things they need to deal with.”