Great Southern Herald - - Front Page - Pic­ture: Lau­rie Ben­son

The Great Southern’s new po­lice Su­per­in­ten­dent Ian Clarke has ar­rived in the re­gion, keen to en­hance the al­ready safe rep­u­ta­tion of the Great Southern.

The Great Southern’s new top cop has vowed to con­tinue to keep the re­gion a safe place to live af­ter tak­ing up his new post this week.

Ian Clarke takes over as the Great Southern po­lice dis­trict’s new Su­per­in­ten­dent, re­plac­ing the out­go­ing Supt Do­minic Wood af­ter three years at the helm.

Supt Wood will re­turn to Perth to take up the role of Su­per­in­ten­dent of State traf­fic op­er­a­tions, a role Supt Clarke is fa­mil­iar with in his 36 years as a po­lice of­fi­cer.

Supt Clarke comes to the re­gion af­ter work­ing in the po­lice pro­fes­sional stan­dards unit, and he has also spent time in State traf­fic and re­gional posts in­clud­ing Norse­man, Gin­gin, Ku­nunurra, Wiluna and Dunsborough.

The ex­pe­ri­enced of­fi­cer said he was “very for­tu­nate” to be liv­ing in Al­bany af­ter ex­press­ing an in­ter­est in re­turn­ing to polic­ing in re­gional WA. “I’ve spent quite a fair bit of time in the coun­try through­out that ca­reer so I’m just re­ally pleased to be work­ing back in re­gional WA,” he said.

“I think one of the great things about work­ing in re­gional WA is that you have the op­por­tu­nity to work re­ally closely with the com­mu­nity and ac­tu­ally see the fruits of your labours.” Supt Clarke said fam­ily vi­o­lence, drugs — in par­tic­u­lar metham­phetamine — emer­gency man­age­ment and road polic­ing would con­tinue to be a fo­cus for the re­gion’s po­lice.

“Whilst we have all the var­i­ous chal­lenges that all po­lice dis­tricts have, we are prob­a­bly lucky we don’t nec­es­sar­ily have the same amount of pres­sures that some places do and we can spend that time to ac­tu­ally re­ally look at in­di­vid­ual is­sues at per­haps cer­tain sub-dis­tricts or more broadly,” he said.

“This is a safe com­mu­nity, this is a good com­mu­nity and I don’t just say Al­bany, but more broadly in the Great Southern, there is a lot of re­ally good peo­ple.

“We have small el­e­ments here and there who don’t do the right thing and we have peo­ple who come in and out of the area.”

Af­ter a re­duc­tion in crime in the past 12 months, Supt Clarke said he was keen for proac­tive polic­ing and early in­ter­ven­tion with help from the com­mu­nity to con­tinue.

“The more we can do in the first in­stance to ac­tu­ally stop things from hap­pen­ing the bet­ter, so if we can be proac­tively work­ing with the com­mu­ni­ties and our team is do­ing that and in part­ner­ship, every­one is work­ing in the same di­rec­tion,” he said.

Pic­ture: Lau­rie Ben­son

Great Southern Po­lice Dis­trict Su­per­in­ten­dent Ian Clarke.

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