Reform helps resolve issues

Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis and WA Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan at the forum. Picture: Sarah Motherwell
Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis and WA Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan at the forum. Picture: Sarah Motherwell

He was among senior police who spoke at a Belmont law and order forum about police reforms in the district and heard the concerns of attendant residents.

WA Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan said concerns such as children on the street, hoons, anti-social behaviour and out-of-control families were protracted and difficult issues to deal with.

‘Until we understand these problems are so complex they can’t be solved by one agency, we won’t make progress,’ he said.

‘About 50 per cent of burglaries in an area like this are actually committed by young people 18 years or under so it is a significant problem for the community.’

Mr O’Callaghan said police reform on trial in this policing district, which is the busiest in WA, would attempt to resolve the issues with increased police engagement with the community.

Inspector Brad Royce said under the reform there were now more officers in the district.

‘For everyday issues we have 200 officers across this district, 31 in Belmont alone that will deal with you on a daily basis about issues that concern you,’ he said.

‘There are 150 officers just doing response ” urgent jobs.’

Disruptive Department of Housing tenants was the main concern for residents at the forum, with many expressing frustration with the apparent ineffectiveness of the State Government’s three-strike policy.

Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis said prior to the policy’s implementation it was almost impossible to evict troublesome tenants but suffering neighbours were still ‘hamstrung’ if the disruptions came from private property owners.

Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey said the prevalence of public housing in the area was an issue with 1400 Department of Housing homes in Belmont compared to only 800 in Armadale.