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-year-old 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 Cock¬burn 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 direc¬tor 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 be¬half of the community to the rel¬evant 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 Cock¬burn creates a deterrent, especially with the movements of po¬lice 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.”
South Metro Assistant Commissioner Gary Budge tells the Gazette what will happen to the old station in Spearwood
“Once police move out of the old station, the transportable will be relocated and the old station will be disposed of by the Department of Lands (DoL) as per Government Asset Disposal policy.
“The disposal process requires that the property is advertised for 30 days, during which time other government agencies can submit an expression of interest (EOI) to acquire the property.
“Should there be no interest during the EOI phase, DoL will prepare the property for disposal on the open market.
“This includes creation of a new land title, changes to zoning and obtaining other associated clearances, such as native title and heritage.
“The timeframe for disposal is dependent upon the complexity of these changes.”