Ac­tion sta­tions

PO­LICE MOVE FROM SPEARWOOD

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Bryce Luff

CUR­TAINS will be drawn on the Cock­burn po­lice sta­tion in Spearwood this week, de­spite calls for it to re­main open.

Staff will leave the 54-yearold fa­cil­ity on Rock­ing­ham Road for the last time on Sun­day as they set up base at the new $21 mil­lion pur­pose-built po­lice hub at Cock­burn Cen­tral. The sta­tion’s clo­sure has been on the cards for some time, with Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Karl O’Cal­laghan pre­vi­ously say­ing he would not run a polic­ing ser­vice out of a build­ing that was not up to scratch.

South Metro As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Gary Budge re­it­er­ated that point to the Gazette, say­ing the 28 of­fi­cers were work­ing in cramped con­di­tions.

“The cur­rent Cock­burn po­lice sta­tion is not fit for polic­ing and will be closed,” he said. “It is far too small and in­ad­e­quate to meet con­tem­po­rary polic­ing re­quire­ments. “The cur­rent sta­tion lacks suf­fi­cient of­fice space, has min­i­mal cus­to­dial fa­cil­i­ties, in­suf­fi­cient stor­age and prop­erty rooms, and in­ad­e­quate staff fa­cil­i­ties.”

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

Con­sol­i­da­tion will hap­pen in stages, with lo­cal polic­ing teams to move in first.

City of Cock­burn gov­er­nance and com­mu­nity ser­vices di­rec­tor Don Green said the City’s view was that the old sta­tion in Spearwood should re­main open to pro­vide a phys­i­cal pres­ence within the City’s grow­ing coast.

A pe­ti­tion sub­mit­ted to coun­cil also raised con­cerns about longer re­sponse times for po­lice trav­el­ling ex­tra dis­tances to in­ci­dents from the new sta­tion.

“The City ad­vo­cated on be­half of the com­mu­nity to the rel­e­vant Min­is­ter and Com­mis­sioner to heed the con­cerns of the com­mu­nity, how­ever be­yond that it is dif­fi­cult for the coun­cil to ex­ert any in­flu­ence on the fi­nal de­ci­sion and out­come as it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the State Gov­ern­ment,” Mr Green said.

Cock­burn MLA Fran Lo­gan, who pre­vi­ously asked in Parliament for the sta­tion to re­main open, said res­i­dents were se­ri­ously con­cerned.

“Res­i­dents are hor­ri­fied about the clo­sure of Spearwood po­lice sta­tion, es­pe­cially se­niors and those who live alone,” he said.

“Res­i­dents feel that the very pres­ence of a po­lice sta­tion in the western sub­urbs of Cock­burn cre­ates a de­ter­rent, es­pe­cially with the move­ments of po­lice in and out of the premises.”

South Metro As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Gary Budge said the new lo­ca­tion would have a lim­ited ef­fect.

“Each sub­urb has a ded­i­cated lo­cal polic­ing team who com­mu­nity mem­bers can con­tact di­rectly,” he said.

“Ac­tively pa­trolling of­fi­cers are best placed to re­spond in a timely man­ner to any in­ci­dent re­ported to po­lice and deter crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.”

The un­der-con­struc­tion sta­tion will be­come home to po­lice from next week.

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