Community forum told crime stats down

The community forum in Madeley.
The community forum in Madeley.

COMMUNITY members were told crime statistics were down in Landsdale and Darch but up in Madeley at a forum this week.

A group of residents and business owners organised the March 20 forum in Madeley in response to community concerns about crime and anti-social behaviour, inviting politicians and police to answer questions.

More than 60 people attended the forum and asked questions about what they should report to which authorities, police responses, and resources available.

Warwick Police Senior Sergeant Brendan Moore said about 160 officers were based at his station, including traffic enforcement and regional operations officers.

Wanneroo Senior Sergeant Simon Hazell said police had recently restructured patrols so there were up to four vehicles out from each station between 2pm and 7am.

“Family violence is something that we are really struggling with in both Wanneroo and Warwick,” Sgt Hazell said.

“Priority goes to people that are having an absolute crisis in their lives.

“Sometimes the serious nature of multiple incidents means those resources go to where those incidents are.”

He said those incidents could take time if they involved serious injuries, re-homing partners and children, and interviewing offenders.

Girrawheen MLA Margaret Quirk gave out a community safety bulletin at the meeting, highlighting crime statistics for the area.

It said crime statistics in Landsdale were down 19 per cent on the five-year average, particularly in assaults, thefts and car thefts, but burglaries and drug offences had increased.

In Darch, the statistics had dropped 12 per cent overall, particularly for drug offences and property damage, although there were increases in burglaries and thefts.

The Madeley statistics reflected a 14 per cent increase on the five-year average with burglary and property damage going up while fraud and theft decreased.

Ms Quirk said the increase in drug offence figures was good as it meant police were arresting more people for those.

Opposition police spokesman Peter Katsambanis said while there were hot spots for certain crimes, similar issues were seen across WA.

Mr Katsambanis said if the community wanted more police resources, the government needed to fund more or take them from other areas.

Business owner Ron Emery praised quick police responses to armed robberies, but said shoplifting was an issue.

Mr Emery said it was difficult for businesses to recoup the costs of stolen goods event if offenders were caught and ordered to pay restitution.

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Organisers and authorities agreed to make more information available to residents, including raising awareness of existing Neighbourhood Watch groups in Landsdale and Darch.

Sgt Hazell said lines of communication were important, with people encouraged to report suspicious incidents, get to know their neighbours and keep their homes and vehicles locked.

“It’s important that you report matters, however minor, because that way police know about it,” Ms Quirk said.

Asked what citizens’ rights were if they found someone on their property, Sgt Hazell said unless they were presenting a direct threat, people should not confront them and should call 131 444.

He said while people could make a citizen’s arrest, any excess force used could result in charges laid against them.

“I would advise against anyone taking on an armed offender,” he said.

Asked about increasing CCTV at shopping centres, Mayor Tracey Roberts said the City had CCTV at its facilities and roaming, covert CCTV it used at illegal dumping hot spots, but would not put cameras on private property.

People who had CCTV at their homes or businesses were also encouraged to register with police.

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