THE WA Police Union says it is concerned by the increasing number of detective vacancies and the rising rate of crime.
Resources are stretched at the Joondalup station, which is four investigators short.
WA Police has advertised nearly 50 detective vacancies.
While Police Minister Liza Harvey said the positions would hopefully be filled soon, WA Police Union president George Tilbury feared the positions might not be filled for several months.
“We have been telling WA Police until we are blue in the face that the detective vacancy issue is a serious problem and that changes need to be made to ensure the positions are filled by suitably qualified police officers,” he said.
“Our members are telling us that due to crime car duties and relieving at district control centres, they are getting taken away from their crime files so often that they are unable to complete investigations in a timely manner.
“This has a direct impact on the community as the public expects police officers to complete their files, but it is near on impossible to work on investigations while you are regularly spending time patrolling the streets in a crime car.”
Opposition police spokeswoman Michelle Roberts said Ms Harvey had failed to protect the community with increasing crime rates due to the detective shortage.
“As a former Police Minister I’ve never known the vacancy rate for detectives to blow out by so much,” she said.
A spokesman for the Police Minister said the matters were operational and therefore questions should be directed to the WA Police Department.
“The Government provides police with the resources to do its job, including recruiting an extra 550 extra officers which it is on track to do,” he said.
Like Joondalup, detective offices in Midland, Mirrabooka and Rockingham were down four members and Perth was missing seven.
Armadale and Kensington were five short.