Arresting development

East Metropolitan MLC Alyssa Hayden, Premier Colin Barnett, Police Minister Liza Harvey and East Metropolitan MLC Donna Faragher at the new Ballajura police station site. Picture: Lauren Pilat
East Metropolitan MLC Alyssa Hayden, Premier Colin Barnett, Police Minister Liza Harvey and East Metropolitan MLC Donna Faragher at the new Ballajura police station site. Picture: Lauren Pilat

The State Government was criticised by community members and the Opposition for closing the original station in 2009.

As previously reported by the Eastern Reporter, concerns over the decision were supported by WA Police statistics which showed in the two years after the station closed there was a 40 per cent increase in home invasions and a 65 per cent rise in vehicle thefts.

Protests ensued with petitions and Facebook pages established in opposition of the State Government’s decision.

The Government promised during the 2013 election campaign to open a new station.

East Metropolitan Region MLC Donna Faragher said the new station formed part of a $67 million capital works commitment to house the additional 550 police and Police Auxiliary officers that would be employed by the Government over the next three years.

Police Minister Liza Harvey said the new station would be accessible, purpose built and include accommodation for officers, a contrast to the previous shopfront station that was a ‘completely inappropriate facility for police’ to operate from.

‘In this area you’ve got youth-related issues and we’ll have youth liaison officers I suspect who will be dealing with students from the college and have further engagement with our young people in this area,’ she said.

‘As we form our local policing teams with the mergers of our districts, what people will get is the phone number of their local policing team manager so they will be able to liaise with a local team and become familiar with them.’

West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti, who campaigned for a new station, said she was relieved by the news but would continue to monitor and lobby to make sure it was built.

‘I remember when they closed that station with no notice and the sense of community anger from that,’ she said.