POLICE patrols in the Fremantle CBD will be increased over April.
Fremantle Police investigations manager Wade Ibbotson said there would be 20 extra officers on the ground each week.
“This is as part of a targeted operation to focus on retail theft which falls into the category of high volume, low level criminality but brings with it a smorgasbord of associated issues,” he said.
“This has been planned due to the effects of losing a CBD-focused team during previous agency reform.”
Sergeant Ibbotson said they had already received positive feedback about the extra patrols.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the City had consistently called for police to be on the beat everyday.
“Upgrades to the CCTV network commenced last week, in total $928,390 will be spent over the coming 10 months to install new CCTV at identified hot spots within the city centre and neighbouring suburbs,” he said.
Freo Now chair and business owner Karl Bullers said Fremantle was the ideal shopping and dining precinct but safety had to be paramount .
“For too long when we see these anti-social elements the atypical comment is ‘that it is just Freo’ but this is not the Freo our businesses wish to see,” he said.
“Foremost we want the current police blitz extended to a permanent service and not just a temporary measure.”
Fremantle Chamber of Commerce chief executive Danicia Quinlan said anti-social behaviour in the heart of the CBD was a constant issue raised by the local residential and business community.
“We see the increased police presence as a strong indicator that when the Fremantle community works together great results can be achieved,” she said.
“ It is a very complex issue that is going to require ongoing attention and as Chamber we really welcome the extra patrols as a first important step.”