SERGEANT Chris Wride has taken charge of Yanchep Police Station. He has replaced Sgt Jason Macander.
After three-and-a-half at the suburban outpost, Sgt Macander has transferred to a detective role in Wanneroo.
Sgt Wride left Wanneroo Police after a two-and-a-half-year stint, where he ran the local policing team for Landsdale and Darch, to join Yanchep in early January.
“My first post as a constable was at the old Two Rocks Police Station,” he said.
“The place was much smaller. You drove up Wanneroo Road – there was no Marmion Avenue.”
Before joining WA Police 20 years ago, Sgt Wride spent four-and-a-half years in the army, and worked as a cartographer making maps in the exploration industry.
His police career has included posts in Northam, Merredin, Paraburdoo, Marble Bar, with the Regional Operations Group and as an East Metropolitan Traffic crash investigator.
The Yanchep sub-district covers Alkimos, Carabooda, Eglinton and Two Rocks as well as Yanchep.
“The Alkimos area is our biggest crime wave area, mainly because it is next to the main metropolitan area – near Butler and Clarkson,” Sgt Wride said.
He said the sub-district operated a little differently to others, with more officers than the standard team because the location and geographical size required them to do more response tasks.
Despite the growing population, he said the crime statistics had dropped 6.6 per cent this year to date compared to the same period last year.
“We’ve seen decreasing crime this year and an increase in sanction rates,” he said.
“The previous officer in charge, I think, has done a wonderful job. Crime is down for 2016 – it is across North West Metro (policing district).
“It’s an expanding suburb, so crime will increase with population growth.”
Sgt Wride said one of the main issues in the area was domestic violence, with the sanction rate seeing police laying charges in 29 per cent of domestic assaults in the area.
“It’s not where we want it to be at – the requirement for the government is 60 per cent,” he said.
Expecting station expansion works to start in February, Sgt Wride said initial construction would take place offsite.
“This station will double in size,” he said.
“The station will be expanded to accommodate up to 40 officers for future growth.”
To help keep crime rates down generally, the sergeant said people should report anything suspicious immediately to Crime Stoppers or 131 444.
He said they should also take care of belongings, by locking cars in garages and not leaving valuables in vehicles, particularly bank cards
Security cameras on businesses and homes could help deter or solve crimes, and Sgt Wride said people should learn how to use their camera systems to help police access footage.
He said traffic breaches were a big issue in the area, and the traffic police were often in the area.
“Up here offenders have to drive around,” he said.
“The more we can stop vehicles, the more chance we have of catching them.”
Sgt Wride also encouraged people to join eWatch (www.ewatch.com.au) for newsletter updates and Neighbourhood Watch (www.nhw.wa.gov.au).