TARGETING burglaries, drugs and hoon behaviour in the Ballajura area will be priority of the new Ballajura Police Station, according to officer-in-charge Ian North.
Acting Premier and Police Minister Liza Harvey and Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan officially launched the long-awaited station, located on Cassowary Drive and worth almost $9 million, this morning.
About 60 people including West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti, Bayswater Mayor Barry McKenna and opposition police spokeswoman Michelle Roberts attended the event.
The Eastern Reporter reported in November 2016 that the facility will cover Ballajura, Malaga, Koondoola, Alexander Heights, Landsdale, Darch and Noranda.
Senior Sergeant North, who was the previous officer-in-charge at Kiara, said he was privileged to be in charge of the new station.
“I think it is a magnificent opportunity for me but the whole idea is we are here to support the community and we will be doing our very best to make sure that we do and operate the best we can to support them,” he said.
“We are going to be right across all of the issues, particularly as a local policing team are going to have the opportunity to spend more time dealing with the main issues in the area.
“The main goal is to keep the community happy.”
Snr Sgt North said he worked in Ballajura during his time at Kiara Police Station and will use similar strategies to tackle crime in the area.
Mr O’Callaghan said Ballajura Police had the mandate to try to address volume crime and target priority offenders in the area.
“When you provide good proactive strategies like therapeutic intervention or supporting family of crisis, you get better long term outcomes,” he said.
“Crime has generally for the state been going down particularly since mid-last year.”
Mrs Harvey said the new facility could accommodate up to 40 officers and included office and meeting areas, change and interview rooms, a gymnasium and locker facilities.
“The previous Ellenbrook Police Station was really nothing more than a very small shopfront in a shopping centre,” she said.
“The (new) building will not reduce crime but the real effective work of police officers will… so, the police officers working in this area do a good job and I suspect them to continue to do so.”
Mrs Harvey said she did not agree with a 24-hour counter service at the station, as there was 24-hour policing in place.
West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti said the opening of the station was a result of a massive community campaign.
“The Ballajura community really welcomes this station as it has been a long time coming,” she said.
“I think what we need is that combination but in particular what we need is police presence in the suburbs.”