South Metropolitan District Superintendent Brad Sorrell will head up a new and bigger district, with the former South Metro and Peel districts combining to cover the area from Fremantle, east to Banjup, south to Mandurah’s Clifton and including Pinjarra.
Not daunted by the vast area under him, Supt Sorrell and his team of inspectors will make up a new streamlined district management team.
The model is based on more frontline police officers in the district, from the existing number of 488 to a proposed 550 by the end of the year.
Supt Sorrell, who has spent most of his 27 years as a police officer working in the country, said the new model was a lot like country policing.
Local Policing Teams will be based at existing stations, with a team of one Sergeant and four to six constables looking after three or four suburbs.
As well as responding to local crime, teams will actively get to know their local area, indentifying problem families or hotspots to try to beat crime before it happens.
‘It’s quite exciting from a local policing perspective,’ Supt Sorrell said.
‘They’ll have a lot more time to think about strategic policing and build good relationships with the community.’
But he was quick to point out that police would not revert ‘to the old days of balloons and stickers’.
‘That’s not what we’re about,’ he said.
‘We’re about working strategically with families that might have problems, maybe working with principals and teachers in regards to specific problems, then engaging from the home level.
‘We’ll invest resources where they’re needed most and where they’ll make the most difference.’