Youth crime, alcohol key issues for police
The South Hedland Police Station wants to build key relationships. Craig Parkin
One of the region’s most senior police officers has revealed plans to tackle alcohol consumption and youth crime in South Hedland.
Four months into his new role as assistant district officer, Inspector Craig Parkin has identified and consulted with various government departments, service providers and the public.
“What is abundantly clear is the harm of alcohol in the community and the impact it has on families, police resources and demand,” he said.
“The entire community must work together to reduce the harm.
“Our officers regularly engage young people who are out at night as they have no safe place to go due to effects of alcohol in the home environment.”
The State Government is exploring several initiatives such as a banned drinkers’ register to reduce the harm of alcohol.
Insp. Parkin said although this would not entirely solve the problem of alcohol-related harm, it was another tool to ensure people were directed to appropriate support agencies.
“We understand prohibiting the sale of packaged liquor during periods where there is increased risk of harm in the community is unpopular, but as a community we must all take responsibility,” he said.
“Unfortunately there is no easy fix and we will ensure any restrictions are publicised and cause minimal inconvenience to the public.
Insp. Parkin said police were “doing their best” to control antisocial behaviour in the town as well as dealing with broader issues. “We see policing demand on Sundays has dropped significantly due to no alcohol sales.” he said.
Insp. Parkin said youth crime was always a talking point, particularly on social media.
He praised a number of existing youth programs and said police had already received “excellent support” from Hedland Senior High School principal Bill Mann towards building relationships with students.
“With the school holidays fast approaching there will be a number of local operations to reduce the incidence of offending during this period,” Insp. Parkin said.
“From a holistic communitybased policing approach, the South Hedland Police Station wants to build key relationships through engagement, such as open community forums.
“I am driving a cultural awareness for many police officers, because there is some historical mistrust and I am doing my utmost to break down those barriers between us and the community.”