State Election 2017: Harvey hits back at Labor’s police promises

State Election 2017: Harvey hits back at Labor’s police promises

THE State Opposition has moved to make crime an issue at the March 11 election.

Opposition leader Mark McGowan said in a statement this week a Labor Government would have police stations at Ellenbrook, Armadale and Cockburn operating 24/7.

And Forrestfield, Canning Vale and Belmont stations would open until 7pm as part of a plan to enhance police presence and boost community safety.

Police Minister Liza Harvey said Mr McGowan “is lying to the public when he says all metro suburbs don’t have police coverage 24 hours a day”.

“If community members are in trouble they can call police and they will respond,” she said.

“Mark McGowan’s election commitment means less police officers will be responding to calls for assistance in Ellenbrook, Armadale, Cockburn, Canning Vale and Belmont.

“To keep the front counter open at these police stations means taking police off the road. This is a win for criminals in these suburbs.”

Mr McGowan said crime had spiralled out of control under the present Government.

“Western Australia needs a return to more traditional policing, with more police on the beat in our communities, providing a strong police presence,” he said.

Mrs Harvey said by mid-2017, the Government would have recruited an additional 1050 police and police auxiliary officers.

“Almost $400 million has been spent building and upgrading police stations across WA, including 19 new and replacement stations,” she said.

“Since our Police Frontline 2020 reforms, which Labor oppose, response times have improved by up to 25 per cent and there are 22 per cent more cars on patrol during peak periods such as Friday and Saturday nights.

“The overall crime rate per capita has reduced 20 per cent over the last 10 years.”

Mrs Harvey said the Opposition had opposed or criticised the Government’s major law and order legislation such as mandatory sentencing for people breaking into homes.