Around the clock Belmont policing mix-up

THE Belmont Community Group (BCG) wants a 24-hour police station in Belmont, but the district superintendent says he has not been approached.

BCG President Cassie Rowe said she had written to Police Minister Liza Harvey and Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan, asking for their support.

“All citizens have the fundamental right to safety and security in their own home and we believe that a 24-hour police station is essential to crime reduction in Belmont,” Ms Rowe said.

The BCG is campaigning through the Make Belmont Safer initiative.

Councillor Lauren Cayoun put forward a motion for the City of Belmont to support the call and write to the Police Minister at an October council meeting.

The motion was amended and council resolved to discuss the matter at a later forum.

Belmont police station has five Local Police Teams and 38 staff, working between 7am and 2am seven days a week.

Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey said the public was being misled over the matter because Belmont has a 24-hour police service, which is not the same as a 24-hour front counter.

“The State Government has invested heavily to increase police numbers and we need to keep them on the streets where they are needed,” she said.

“Unfortunately, police staff manning a 24-hour police station cannot actually leave the station and that means less officers out on the streets to respond to calls.

“If you are a victim of crime and need police assistance in the middle of the night, having police officers staffing a front counter will not help you, it actually means less patrol cars available to respond.”

South East Metropolitan District Superintendent Brad Royce said he met with community representatives, who were not concerned where officers came from, as long as they received help when needed. “It’s a case of wanting them quickly,” he said.

“I regularly speak at forums and the issue as to where I house our officers and their equipment rarely rates a mention.”

He said the operating structure in place provided better response times to calls than before and the local teams were popular.

“There are no current plans to open the Belmont station 24 hours a day,” he said.