Police face more violence related to drug use

Police face more violence related to drug use

POLICE are facing violent situations related to drug use more often, with a Yanchep officer suffering three broken ribs in an incident earlier this year.

Senior Sergeant Ben Huggett spoke about successes and challenges facing Yanchep police at the Two Rocks Yanchep Residents Association meeting this week.

Asked about a perceived increase in violent crime, Sgt Huggett said it was an issue.

“There is more violent crime – it’s directly related to drug use,” he said.

“The majority of our work is family violence; mental health is a massive drain on our resources and meth – often the jobs we are going to have all three of those.

“If we could eliminate drugs, it would have a significant impact on crime.”

Sgt Huggett said two of his officers were injured while dealing with someone who had taken meth in February, and one officer was thrown across the room.

He said the officer’s injuries included three broken ribs, had to have surgery to replace the ribs and was still off duty.

Senior Sergeant Ben Huggett.

Sgt Huggett took charge of Yanchep police station last year and has 23 years’ experience in the police work.

He said last year’s restructure of WA Police and expansion of the Yanchep police station led to more officers being based in the sub-district and increased the hours they could patrol the area.

“If you call the police in Yanchep, more than likely you will get an officer from Yanchep,” he said.

“We got more numbers at Yanchep which means that we are able to service your communities on days, afternoons and evenings.”

Sgt Huggett said it was a more traditional model of policing, with local officers handling the investigation as well as the response.

He said there had been a “significant drop” in crime figures since last July, including a 43 per cent decrease in burglaries.

While there had been an increase in drug offences, the sergeant credited that to officers detecting drugs more often, including when they pulled cars over.

“We know there is a growing drug problem nationwide,” he said.

“When I see drug detection increases, I know my officers are out there being proactive.”

Asked about the roundabout on Two Rocks Road near the former Club Capricorn entry and a fatal crash there in February, Sgt Huggett said it was speed related.

“If you are doing the speed limit (60km/h), there shouldn’t be an issue,” he said.