THE Ellenbrook community will be better protected under a 24-hour police station, according to Police Minister Michelle Roberts.
Ms Roberts confirmed that the station would be open 24/7 to the public “as soon as possible”.
She said police were currently working to ensure additional police officers were stationed in Ellenbrook before changes to opening hours could be made.
“Due to a massive growth in population and challenging demands facing Ellenbrook, the community has long been calling for the Ellenbrook police station to be open 24/7,” she said.
“It’s about providing the same level of service and access to police as inner-city areas already have. It will mean people fleeing domestic violence, feeling threatened or in danger can make their way to a 24/7 police station.”
Ms Roberts said the State Government was honouring its election commitment to provide $7 million of extra funding to WA Police in the upcoming State Budget to extend the opening hours of Ellenbrook, Armadale and Cockburn stations.
She said in relation to recent violent events in Ellenbrook, including a stabbing last weekend, she said it could not prevent every crime but more police would mean people would feel safer and have direct access if in danger.
“This is a great initiative to better serve the Ellenbrook community. It will give them access to local police when they need it,” she said.
WA Police Union president George Tilbury said the plan was of concern, with 35 police taken off the road to man stations.
“It’s important to have 24/7 police in the district, but we can’t have it at the expense of cars on the road,” he said. “It’ll put the public and members at risk and create longer wait times.”
However, Ms Roberts said funding would ensure additional resources and better accessibility to the people of Ellenbrook and surrounding areas.
“Funding will be provided for this commitment and George Tilbury’s comments have been contradicted by deputy commissioner Steve Brown,” she said.
“Local member Jessica Shaw strongly advocated for a better response to Ellenbrook’s community safety issues, which were ignored for too long.”