Meth high on agenda at law and order forum in Bicton


Close to 50 concerned residents packed into the Bicton-Palmyra RSL  Club for a community law and order forum on Thursday.
Close to 50 concerned residents packed into the Bicton-Palmyra RSL Club for a community law and order forum on Thursday.

METH-RELATED crime, police response times and out- of-control hoons dominated the conversation at a community law and order forum held at the Bicton-Palmyra RSL Club last week.

Police Minister Liza Harvey, Deputy Police Commissioner Stephen Brown and Palmyra Station officer-in-charge Gavin Radice fielded a range of questions from residents concerned about a perceived spike in methamphetamine use and resultant crime.

Deputy Commissioner Brown said Perth-wide burglaries had decreased from 60,000 in 1995 to 38,000 in 2015-16 but conceded that a rise in meth use meant home invasions that turned violent now had more severe outcomes.

He said part of the problem was that the purity of meth had increased significantly from about 15 per cent in the 1990s to closer to 80 per cent in 2016.

One man identified the stretch of Canning Highway between Carrington Street and Stock Road as a hot spot for drug users while a large contingent of East Fremantle residents voiced concerns about a social housing complex that was allegedly home to multiple problem tenants that routinely terrorise nearby neighbours while high on meth.

Fremantle Station officer-in-charge Brad Warburton, who was also in attendance, said he was well aware of the problem and that there had been 60 call- outs to that address over nine months.

Mrs Harvey said part of the problem was a disconnect between Department of Housing and WA Police, which slowed down the eviction process for problem tenants.

She said she intended to change the current system, which requires concerned neighbours to lodge two separate incident reports to the police and the Department of Housing.

Residents raising concerns with hoons on Leach Highway and Fifth Street were encouraged to contact their local policing teams to set up sting operations to catch offenders in the act.

With regards to police response times, Deputy Commissioner Brown said WA Police was achieving its target of responding to 80 per cent of incidents within 20 minutes.