Blame game over police delay after Cottesloe assault

Blame game over police delay after Cottesloe assault

THE WA Police Union wants western suburbs policing changed. It has criticised the State Government for not building the Claremont police hub after officers took about 2½ hours to get to victims of a Cottesloe street bashing recently.

“We believe Cottesloe should be reallocated to the Central Metropolitan District and be serviced by officers from the Perth Response Team, based in Northbridge,” WA Police Union president George Tilbury said.

Gavin Rodrigues, Vanessa Carey and Denyse Rodrigues were assaulted by a group of about nine people for about 20 minutes outside Ms Rodrigues’ Curtin Avenue home about 9.15pm on November 2. Other dinner guests hid in the house before the police arrived about 12.15am.

Mr Tilbury said the delay was “completely unacceptable” but police were under “constant pressure” in the new North West Metropolitan Police District because of its “sheer size” from Mosman Park to Two Rocks and Morley.

In 2010, Premier Colin Barnett announced a $28 million Claremont police hub would be finished by 2014 but after cutbacks there was $5.6 million allocated in 2017-18 and $8.9 million for 2018-19 in May’s budget.

Mr Tilbury said there was still no modern station for the western suburbs, after the Claremont and Subiaco stations were closed, leaving the ageing Cottesloe and Wembley stations.

Paramedics were at Ms Rodrigues’ Curtin Avenue house within 30 minutes of being called.

“But when the police called us back they still had my Melbourne address, so there’s definitely something wrong in the call centre if they still had that after all the calls saying it was Cottesloe,” Ms Carey said.

The police delay has been blamed on an error at the Midland police communications centre and a “busy night” of 34-50 police jobs in the NW Metropolitan District, including two arrests at Peppermint Grove involving people with a similar description to those at the bashing.

Mr Barnett said failure of WA Police to attend at Cottesloe within a reasonable time was unacceptable but he had been assured steps had been taken to address the “failings” that occurred that night.

He said WA Police were evaluating the scope and location of the Claremont Police hub so the requirements of the police’s new operating model were met.

There will be an ‘Open Invitation to the Community’ forum focussing on local crime issues and WA’s approach to frontline policing on Monday, November 23 from 6.30-8pm at the Stirling Community Centre, Tuart Hill.