Police promise ‘broken’

The electronic sign seen in the West Swan area during the recent election campaign.
The electronic sign seen in the West Swan area during the recent election campaign.

Under questioning from Labor MLA Rita Saffioti in State Parliament last week, Police Minister Liza Harvey denied the Government had promised a 24-hour police station for West Swan.

Ms Saffioti challenged the claim with a photograph of a Liberal Party electronic sign that read ‘Liberal for 24hr 7day Police Stn’, which appeared at several West Swan locations during the recent State election campaign.

Mrs Harvey said ’24-hour policing would occur out of Ballajura,’ but it was not anticipated it would be a district, 24-hour counter service station.

‘All of our police stations in every suburb in the metropolitan area have police officers that operate at night, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,’ she said.

Ms Saffioti said the electronic signs showed the Liberals had committed to a 24-hour station.

‘It shows they will say anything, do anything to get elected but once they’re elected they just abandon their commitments,’ she said. ’24/7 is the model ‘open always’. It’s very different to having a police station open 8am to 4pm and then police using it as their base for patrols.’

The row comes after the WA Police Union in last week’s Advocate called for a fully manned police station in Ellenbrook ” also in West Swan.

The region has been subjected to a spate of vandalism and ongoing incidents of major assaults and burglaries.

Residents say police are slow to respond.

In a statement to the Advocate, Assistant Commissioner Gary Budge said keeping the Ellenbrook police station open after business hours would ‘serve no benefit to the community’.

‘To physically open the Ellenbrook police station outside of normal business hours would take a number of operational police off the road to essentially carry out administrative duties,’ he said.

Mr Budge said Ellenbrook crime was down 2.8 per cent, compared with the last financial year, and assaults were down 30 per cent.