Sta­tion cops a spray


Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Bryce Luff

THE fu­ture of the Cock­burn po­lice sta­tion in Spear­wood is in doubt af­ter Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Karl O'Cal­laghan said the fa­cil­ity was not up to scratch.

THE $21 mil­lion new po­lice sta­tion at Cock­burn Cen­tral is likely to force the clo­sure of the age­ing one on Rock­ing­ham Road, af­ter com­ments by the Po­lice Com­mis­sioner.

Com­mis­sioner Karl O’Cal­laghan was re­spond­ing to questions from Cock­burn MLA Fran Lo­gan dur­ing last week’s Assem­bly Es­ti­mates Com­mit­tee meet­ing.

“As Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice I have ad­vised gov­ern­ment that I will not run a polic­ing ser­vice out of a build­ing that is not suit­able to run a polic­ing ser­vice out of,” he said.

“We have to look at the age of that build­ing and the ac­tual cost and com­plex­ity of up­grad­ing it.

“The rea­son we are build­ing a new place at Cock­burn Cen­tral is that some of our in­fra­struc­ture in (Spear­wood) is not fit for polic­ing.

“I am cer­tainly not sup­port­ive of keep­ing that open.”

The build­ing at Cock­burn Cen­tral will al­low WA Po­lice to con­sol­i­date its District Man­age­ment Team in Mya­ree, the Re­sponse Team in Bi­bra Lake and Cock­burn po­lice sta­tion of­fi­cers on one site.

It will have space for 200 staff across shifts and is due to be fin­ished at the end of the year.

It should pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant up­grade to the Spear­wood sta­tion, which has room for just 27 staff.

Dr O’Cal­laghan said the new sta­tion would elim­i­nate any need for the Spear­wood sta­tion. “That has been my po­si­tion all along,” he said.

The move to close the sta­tion has the back­ing of the WA Po­lice Union.

Pres­i­dent Ge­orge Til­bury told the Gazette the South Metropoli­tan re­gion needed modern fa­cil­i­ties to deal with crime in the area.

But Mr Lo­gan said he was sur­prised by the Com­mis­sioner’s “de­ter­mi­na­tion” to have the Spear­wood base closed down.

“Res­i­dents in the western area of Cock­burn, par­tic­u­larly Coogee, Spear­wood and Mun­ster, will take some con­vinc­ing that a po­lice pres­ence will be as good or bet­ter with the mov­ing of of­fi­cers and staff to Cock­burn Cen­tral,” he said.

“Spear­wood po­lice sta­tion has been around a long time. Its clos­ing will cre­ate a great deal of angst.”

Cock­burn Mayor Lo­gan Howlett said the new fa­cil­ity at Cock­burn Cen­tral was vi­tal given the pop­u­la­tion growth within the city and neigh­bour­ing coun­cils.

But he was also in favour of the Spear­wood sta­tion be­ing re­tained.

“While there are sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits in cen­tral­is­ing fa­cil­i­ties, it is also im­por­tant to re­mem­ber the com­mu­nity’s ex­pec­ta­tions that their lo­cal po­lice sta­tion is bet­ter placed to re­spond to lo­cal in­ci­dents,” he said.

“Hence the need for the Cock­burn po­lice sta­tion in Spear­wood to con­tinue to op­er­ate in ad­di­tion to the new fa­cil­ity, es­pe­cially given the sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in pop­u­la­tion that is tak­ing place along our coast­line and in ad­join­ing sub­urbs such as Coogee, Spear­wood, Hamil­ton Hill and Mun­ster.”

The Cock­burn po­lice sta­tion on Rock­ing­ham Road.

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