THE Murdoch police sub-district is the best performing in South Metro Police District, with the lowest overall crime rate despite population growth in its City of Cockburn suburbs and the opening of Fiona Stanley Hospital 18 months ago.
However, end of financial year figures show crime overall in the Murdoch sub-district was up 4 per cent, according to Murdoch officer in charge Glenn Swannell.
“All stations are experiencing an increase in domestic violence assaults,” Sgt Swannell said.
“At Murdoch, it is up about 28 per cent and part of this is a greater willingness to report domestic violence.
“Non-domestic assaults are also up about 12 per cent, and include assaults at the hospital.”
Over a two-year period, robberies dropped 52 per cent, burglaries 21 per cent and motor vehicle thefts 26 per cent.
“The whole metro area had experienced a growth in crime so there was a refocussing of efforts to four categories of domestic violence, burglaries, stealing a motor vehicle and theft,” Sgt Swannell said.
“The district started proactive teams and some officers went out with detectives from Fremantle permanently, on a rotation basis, to target the people that are causing the most problems.
“We ran a ‘making it tougher for crooks’ campaign and locally South Lake was a bit of a problem for us.”
In conjunction with detectives and businesses, police issued a number of search warrants for the properties of recidivist offenders as part of Operation Secular.
He said ongoing population growth in the Cockburn area would continue, more apartments were planned and the Fremantle Dockers building was due to open in the next couple of years.
Sgt Swannell said there was a proposal for 1200 new apartments near Murdoch Station and Challenger TAFE would bring in more students when its Beaconsfield campus closes.
The spike in crime caused by Fiona Stanley Hospital’s opening presented a new normal for the station to deal with.
“The opening of Fiona Stanley Hospital severely impacted crime in Murdoch as expected for a new hospital with 6000 people coming in a day,” he said.
He said the sub-district had been able to cater for the increase in crime because the hospital was mainly attended by the 24-7 response unit that is based at a Bibra Lake factory unit.