Stirling council pushes for auto gates at Balga footbridge

STIRLING Council is calling for the installation of automatic gate locks at a footbridge over Reid Highway in Balga in a bid to reduce crime in the area.

Councillors supported Cr David Boothman’s motion, which requested the City write a letter of support to Police Minister Michelle Roberts, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti and Police Commissioner Chris Dawson to have automatic gate locks at the footbridge, at the September 26 council meeting.

The gates are currently open after a trial closure of the gates, which started in January and ended in June.

Cr Boothman said the trial was successful and the City provided police with information on auto-locks and local suppliers that may be able to help.

“I was a former police officer; crime prevention is one of my focuses,” he said.

“We also offered to partner the police and open the gates in the short term to allow the new systems to be installed.

“This has not been taken up by the police.”

Mirrabooka Police officer-in-charge Neil Morton-Smith said police were in consultation with the City and Main Roads WA to find a long-term solution for the gates.

“We did look at the impact of it pre and post the gates and there was certainly a positive on both crime levels and requirements for police attendance,” he said.

“It is difficult to be specific, to say it was the gates that resulted in this, because there are too many variables in that period of time and in the communities on both sides of the bridge.”