Call to action over new police station

Rita Saffioti with Ballajura resident of 19 years Margaret Ryan.d406555
Rita Saffioti with Ballajura resident of 19 years Margaret Ryan.d406555

In February, Police Minister Liza Harvey committed $12.5 million to build a 24-hour station with up to 21 officers by 2016, after the shop-front station was closed under the Liberal Government in 2009.

Ms Saffioti said the State Budget didn’t mention the construction of a station in Ballajura, despite the financial commitment announced earlier in the year.

‘They had promised to open it in 2015-16 but now have walked away from that commitment,’ she said.

‘The Government must act now and start constructing the police station ” it is simply not fair that the Liberal Government continues to ignore the community safety concerns of Ballajura residents.

‘A key demand from residents is to bring back community policing that allows local police to get a good understanding of local issues.’

Ms Harvey said the Government could not build a police station in six months, but that funding was ‘definitely’ allocated as part of the capital works upgrade in the budget.

‘I think it’s a little bit early for the Member to be calling it a broken promise,’ she said.

‘We’ve put $67 million aside in capital infrastructure to house the additional 550 police officers, and the Ballajura police station will be paid for out of that, with $12.5 million allocated to Ballajura. 2016 is our target and we’re in the process at the moment of trying to find land but we’re not walking away from our commitments to the community.’

Margaret Ryan (65), a Ballajura resident of 19 years, was a victim of a hit and run bag snatch earlier this year and said the police station was needed for added security. ‘It’s something that a suburb of this size and diversity in age groups needs,’ she said.

‘If a station was in the area, it might stop people thinking of attacking people walking down the street because there’s more chance of police being in the area patrolling.

‘There has definitely been an increase in anti-social behaviour since the police station was closed.’