Big changes to local policing

WA Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan said under the new metropolitan operating model detectives would move to the main police station in each new district.

Detectives at the 1960s-era Stirling Highway station will join 32 others at the new Roe Street, station in Northbridge when seven police districts become four, each with a planned 550 officers. Mr O’Callaghan’s new operating model has Perth-based detectives covering the west end of a new district from Bullsbrook to Nedlands.

At Wembley, 60 officers become 22 and lose Floreat and City Beach duties in the new Central East District from Nedlands east to Midland.

Groups in the 22 will tackle local crime, while 80 first response police and 30 from the regional operations group, both based in Perth, deal with hourly calls.

In Cottesloe, 28 officers become 13 when the station joins the new North West District from Mosman Park to Two Rocks, including City Beach and Floreat, in which on-call incidents will be dealt with by an enlarged group of mobile patrol officers working from Mirrabooka.

‘We don’t have the close connection to the community right now, to be honest, and (officers) tend to go from job to job,’ Mr O’Callaghan said, when asked how response team officers stayed close to the public going between crimes as far apart as Marmion and Mosman Park.

At remnant stations, officers will deal with community issues and local crime, and will be available for emergencies.

Cottesloe Senior-Sergeant Steve Dawson said his new district would be split into north and southern areas, and a command and control structure created between the Midland police communications centre and local officers, so patrols would not be affected by distance.

‘That’s not going to be the case as they are dedicated officers who will respond where policing demand is required,’ he said.

Wembley Senior-Sergeant Kate Vivian said the changes were a ‘great opportunity’ to connect with the community and for officers to be visible because ‘if there’s an issue in Jolimont, that will go to the Jolimont team’.