Around the clock polic­ing mix-up

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News - Su­sanne Reilly

THE Bel­mont Com­mu­nity Group (BCG) wants a 24-hour po­lice sta­tion in Bel­mont, but the dis­trict su­per­in­ten­dent says he has not been ap­proached.

BCG Pres­i­dent Cassie Rowe said she had writ­ten to Po­lice Min­is­ter Liza Har­vey and Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Karl O’Cal­laghan, ask­ing for their sup­port.

“All cit­i­zens have the fun­da­men­tal right to safety and se­cu­rity in their own home and we be- lieve that a 24-hour po­lice sta­tion is es­sen­tial to crime re­duc­tion in Bel­mont,” Ms Rowe said.

The BCG is cam­paign­ing through the Make Bel­mont Safer ini­tia­tive.

Coun­cil­lor Lau­ren Cay­oun put for­ward a mo­tion for the City of Bel­mont to sup­port the call and write to the Po­lice Min­is­ter at an Oc­to­ber coun­cil meet­ing.

The mo­tion was amended and coun­cil re­solved to dis­cuss the mat­ter at a later fo­rum.

Bel­mont po­lice sta­tion has five Lo­cal Po­lice Teams and 38 staff, work­ing be­tween 7am and 2am seven days a week.

Bel­mont MLA Glenys God­frey said the pub­lic was be­ing mis­led over the mat­ter be­cause Bel­mont has a 24-hour po­lice ser­vice, which is not the same as a 24-hour front counter.

“The State Gov­ern­ment has in­vested heav­ily to in­crease po­lice num­bers and we need to keep them on the streets where they are needed,” she said.

“Un­for­tu­nately, po­lice staff man­ning a 24-hour po­lice sta­tion can­not ac­tu­ally leave the sta­tion and that means less of­fi­cers out on the streets to re­spond to calls.

“If you are a vic­tim of crime and need po­lice as­sis­tance in the mid­dle of the night, hav­ing po­lice of­fi­cers staffing a front counter will not help you, it ac­tu­ally means less pa­trol cars avail­able to re­spond.”

South East Met­ro­pol­i­tan Dis­trict Su­per­in­ten­dent Brad Royce said he met with com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tives, who were not con- cerned where of­fi­cers came from, as long as they re­ceived help when needed. “It’s a case of want­ing them quickly,” he said.

“I reg­u­larly speak at fo­rums and the is­sue as to where I house our of­fi­cers and their equip­ment rarely rates a men­tion.”

He said the op­er­at­ing struc­ture in place pro­vided bet­ter re­sponse times to calls than be­fore and the lo­cal teams were pop­u­lar.

“There are no cur­rent plans to open the Bel­mont sta­tion 24 hours a day,” he said.

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