Tackling crime together: WA Police community forum

Police officers answered questions on a wide range of topics at a community forum in Joondalup.
Police officers answered questions on a wide range of topics at a community forum in Joondalup.

HOONING, paedophile checks, drugs and privacy rights were among the issues raised by residents at a WA Police community forum last Thursday.

About 70 people attended the October 15 forum in Joondalup, where speakers included Police Minister Liza Harvey, Deputy Commissioner Stephen Brown and North West Metropolitan District Superintendent Allan Adams.

Hillarys resident Pete Turner said hooning was an issue at the marina that regularly frustrated residents.

“Drive through to the north part of the boat harbour and you will see plenty of fresh tyre marks,” he said.

“This is a problem that is not going to go away with the way you are policing it at the moment.”

Mrs Harvey said police had funding for covert cameras to target hooning hotspots and encouraged people to report incidents immediately to 131 444.

Mr Brown said deterring hoon behaviour might also require the owner – in this case, the Transport Department – to “design that out” in its infrastructure.

Tim Scarrott said hooning and littering were issues in Neerabup and Carramar, particularly in the largely vacant industrial area north of Flynn Drive.

Mr Scarrott said there was “a lack of backbone” when it came to teaching children who might be involved in illegal activities about respect and repercussions.

An Edgewater resident complained about the lack of action from police after he and his neighbours lodged numerous complaints about a driver’s behaviour in their street.

He was told to address it with the Joondalup sub-district’s officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Craig Wanstall.

“We know that hoon-driving hits the top of the pops in our local communities, we know that we have a hoon-driving issue at this end of the district,” Supt Adams said.

A Hocking woman asked how people could check whether convicted paedophiles were involved in local clubs.

Mrs Harvey said people could check the sex offenders register, which showed the faces of any living in their neighbourhood, and check names of people associated with their children.

“You can apply through police and find out if that person has any history that you should be aware of,” she said.

Joondalup Deputy Mayor Philippa Taylor said police checks should be required for people working in cinemas, fast-food outlets or other places that employed children.

“Quite a few years ago, my son was working at Piccadilly cinema – he was working alongside convicted paedophile Dennis McKenna,” she said.

A man asked about rules relating to CCTV cameras, saying one of his neighbours had one on a TV antenna overlooking several backyards and he felt it was a breach of their privacy.

Mrs Harvey said it sounded like the legislation needed to change and the government would look into rules surrounding CCTV cameras and drones.

Concerns about drugs and the rights of parents who had adult children with addictions living at home were raised by one woman at the forum.

“We have a drug problem in Landsdale and the police are often going through Landsdale,” she said.

Rather than parents having to get restraining orders that put their adult children onto the streets, she asked if there could be a law allowing parents to arrange involuntary rehabilitation.

Mrs Harvey said Mental Health Minister Helen Morton was investigating that and other options, having recently visited the Northern Territory where there is a trial of involuntary admissions for alcohol detox programs.