Putting the fo­cus on lo­cal polic­ing Ben Smith

Comment News (Armadale) - - Front Page -

PO­LICE Min­is­ter Michelle Roberts be­lieves a ded­i­cated Ar­madale polic­ing district was long over­due and will im­prove the qual­ity of lo­cal polic­ing.

The new Ar­madale district, which be­gins oper­a­tions in July, is one of eight metropoli­tan dis­tricts an­nounced as part of the State Gov­ern­ment’s sweep­ing changes of the po­lice ser­vice.

Un­der the pre­vi­ous sys­tem, the Ar­madale re­gion was over­seen by the South East Metro District, based in Can­ning­ton.

Mrs Roberts said the new sys­tem would re­in­force the ‘lo­cal’ in lo­cal po­lice.

“The old south­east district based out of Can­ning­ton was not just the big­gest but also had the high­est vol­ume of call­outs and crime,” she said.

“Break­ing that district into two is a big ad­van­tage for the Ar­madale area.

“Po­lice will get to know their lo­cal patch bet­ter, they’ll be de­ployed over a much smaller area so they’ll get to know trou­ble spots and they’ll get to know the peo­ple bet­ter.”

Mrs Roberts said dou­bling the num­ber of dis­tricts from four to eight would shorten re­sponse times.

“One of the other prob­lems of the old model is it ef­fec­tively broke the po­lice in half, with half the of­fi­cers do­ing lo­cal polic­ing and the other half part of re­sponse teams,” she said.

“Re­sponse times blew out and some­times peo­ple were trav­el­ling from one part of the metro area to the other for in­di­vid­ual re­sponses. Now they’re re­spond­ing over a much smaller area.”

New Fam­ily and Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Re­sponse teams will be sit­u­ated in each district, an area Mrs Roberts said the Gov­ern­ment pri­ori­tised.

“In each of those eight dis­tricts, they’ll be some­one at sergeant level with a team of eight of­fi­cers ded­i­cated to deal­ing with do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is­sues,” she said.

“The way things have op­er­ated in the past, dif­fer­ent of­fi­cers can show up at the same house and not know what’s go­ing on be­fore. This way, po­lice can ef­fec­tively mon­i­tor what’s gone on be­fore and look at fre­quent call­outs due to do­mes­tic as­saults.”

Po­lice Min­is­ter Michelle Roberts dis­cusses the new po­lice dis­tricts with Dar­ling Range by-elec­tion can­di­date Ta­nia Lawrence.

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