Fremantle assault figures sobering

Stock image.
Stock image.

FREMANTLE has been labelled one of the worst electorates in metropolitan Perth for alcohol-fuelled violence.

A report from the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth and the National Drug Research Institute ranked Fremantle second for alcohol-related serious assaults, with 548 recorded between 2010 and 2013. Only Perth recorded higher with 1709.

McCusker Centre executive officer Julia Stafford said it was an issue that needed to be looked at in this election.

“For political parties keen to reduce the pressure on hospitals, ambulances and police resources, a commitment to evidence-based policies to prevent and reduce harm from alcohol would go a long way to achieving this,” she said.

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“These estimates are particularly worrying because they include only the most serious types of assaults, the kind which result in serious injury or death.”

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The report also showed Fremantle ranked highly in the number of alcohol-related emergency department visits, with 2267 recorded between 2009 and 2013, while 649 local deaths were attributed to alcohol between 2010 and 2012.

“Causes of death and other harm partially or wholly attributable to alcohol include cancers, stroke, falls, drowning, assault, road crashes, alcohol dependence, suicide and liver cirrhosis,” Ms Stafford said.

“Each of these places a huge strain on community resources, including emergency departments which deal with the consequences of alcohol on a daily basis.”

Assaults have become a growing issue within the Fremantle CBD, with 354 recorded in 2016, up from 333 in 2015 and 337 in 2014.

In January this year there were 29 incidents reported.

Despite this, other crimes saw a decline in the past 12 months, the number of burglaries dropping from 167 in 2015 to 152 in 2016 and the number of car thefts reported also dropping from 91 to 67.