THE new district police superintendent faces a challenging initiation.
Supt Allan Adams, who replaces Charlie Carver, takes charge with police stations in the thick of major overhaul as part of incoming reform.
In less than a fortnight, WA’s approach to policing will change dramatically when the Frontline 2020 program takes effect.
Stations are being renovated and officers are being shuffled into new workplaces in preparation for the December 1 changeover.
Supt Adams is hoping to make the switch as smooth as possible.
He emphasised the importance of what will be termed the ‘local policing teams’.
The teams will be dispersed throughout local suburbs with the expectation they will develop an intimate knowledge of the communities they are assigned to.
Among other outcomes, the approach is supposed to ensure residents who report a police matter deal with the same officers throughout the process instead of having to repeat the story to ’10 different officers’ who may deal with the complaint.
‘Members of the public get a little short in having to regurgitate the same problem,’ Supt Adams said.
‘Dedicated police officers in districts should mean ” and we’re driving it mean ” that they have to tell the story only once.
‘And the police who have responsibility for that area understand the problem and can put some more of those proactive activities in place.’
He said the teams would identify problematic families and properties and work with other government agencies to ‘address the root cause of their offending’.
The former Internal Affairs Superintendent expected the teams’ familiarity with their assigned communities to make a marked difference to problem areas such as shopping centres.
He considered the district to be in good shape, with burglaries, as they have always been, the biggest area of attention.
‘Having your castle invaded is a significant trauma to your average person,’ he said.
‘It has been a focus for us for a long time and it will continue to be a focus.’
While community concern had heightened around drug issues, particularly methamphetamine use, in recent months, Supt Adams did not consider the cities of Wanneroo and Joondalup to have any worse a problem than other council areas.
But he said there had been ‘double digit’ increases in the number of drug arrests in the district.
‘It’s endemic across the whole of the State,’ he said.
‘I wouldn’t say this district is more of a problem than anywhere else.
‘Without a doubt it’s the causal factor for many of these offending lifestyles.
‘People who are addicted to drugs have obviously got to fund that addiction.’
From the beginning of next month, the reform will have Supt Adams covering an area beyond the local suburbs he covers now.
His responsibility will stretch down to Cottesloe and across to Mirrabooka and Morley in what police will term the North- West Metropolitan District.
He is familiar with the cities of Wanneroo and Joondalup, having spent time as the local crime co-ordinator during the early to mid-2000s.