City of Wanneroo to reduce ranger patrol hours

Picture : Martin Kennealey
Picture : Martin Kennealey

THE City of Wanneroo will reduce its ranger patrol hours from 24* to 15 hours a day.

*CLARIFICATION, 4.20pm: The City advised current patrol hours range from 6.30am to 10.30pm on Sundays to Thursdays, and from 6.30am to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, while the change will see shifts restricted to between 6am and 9pm seven days a week. 

Earlier: Councillors unanimously endorsed a change to shift hours for rangers to finish at 9pm at the September 18 meeting, with senior rangers to finish half an hour later.

The change follows a ranger and community safety service review, which also looked at the animal care centre and parking officers.

Councillor Linda Aitken said the roster change would improve the home life for emergency staff, and their morale.

At the council briefing session, community and place director Debbie Terelinck said the service had been 24/7 but data showed that most of the customer requests received after 9pm could be dealt with by safety patrol officers.

“To have rangers available when the community wants, we recommend that ranger shifts end at 9pm,” she said.

Asked whether the safety patrol officers would have similar powers to rangers, Mrs Terelinck said they would not but there would be on-call procedures to maintain access to a ranger if needed.

She said it would take some time to implement the changes, potentially up to six months, and staff would present a review on how they go six months after the rosters change.

A council report said in one year, the after hours service only received six calls between 9pm and 6am that required ranger attendance, and safety patrol officers working between those hours could attend the rest of the calls.

It said ranger resources would be better utilised at peak times of activity and community demand during the day.

“The safety patrol officer continues to be the ‘eyes and ears’ for the community and if any issues arise, their responsibility is to alert the relevant authority such as WA Police,” it said.

The council support an incremental change and acknowledged the next biennial perceptions survey would canvas community opinion on ranger and community safety services.

Mrs Terelinck told Community News the standard hours for rangers would span 6am to 9pm once the changes were implemented.

“The City will maintain its 24-hour coverage with the use of safety patrol officers working through the night and answering any calls from residents,” she said.

“As per the council report, the need for rangers during the (9pm to midnight) times slot has been demonstrated to be very limited.

“The reduced span of hours will allow greater use of the rangers for proactive community engagement type tasks and to be available when the highest community demand is present.”