THE State Government will include Mandurah in its multi-million dollar summer crime blitz, but it will not add any extra police on the city’s streets.
Police will instead be asked to work overtime as part of operation Heat Shield – the latest strategy, worth $5 million, from the Government.
The WA Police Union has labelled the move as “nothing new”, while Mandurah MLA David Templeman has praised it, saying it would mean a bolstered police presence in the city “on a scale never before seen in WA”.
It comes as anti-social behaviour and crime continue to raise concerns in the city and follows repeated calls for more police on the streets.
The situation escalated this month when a public brawl involving children as young as 12 spilled onto the streets and rocked the Mandurah community.
The operation will kick off on December 1 and involves 55,000 additional police hours and increased patrols across the state.
WA Police Union president Harry Arnott said the latest strategy was another example of the Government asking police to do more with less.
“The WA Police Union believes the $5 million allocated to the strategy could have been better used to put 99 new police recruits through the academy,” Mr Arnott said.
“There will inevitably come a time when our people get so overworked and fatigued that they will not volunteer to do the overtime for this strategy.
“Basically, we need more police numbers across the state, not additional overtime for the existing police officers.”
Mr Templeman promised the blitz would deliver a significantly increased police presence in Mandurah.
“This additional police resourcing will allow police to target crime and anti-social behaviour,” he said.
“Residents should feel safe when at a shopping centre or using public transport.
“This record funding will enhance our local police presence.”
Mandurah acting Supt Dean Snashall confirmed the extra policing would be worked by existing police stationed in the Mandurah District in the form of overtime.
“Detectives in both major centres will be able to work extra hours to target high harm offenders,” he said.
Residents have been calling for more police to address crime and anti-social behaviour, particularly in the city centre.
In October, the Mandurah Rally for More Police was attended by hundreds of concerned residents.
The Mandurah Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour Action Group formed in June to achieve more police.