Cops make meal of response time in western suburbs

CLAREMONT Mayor Jock Barker says bashed Cottesloe residents who waited about two hours and 45 minutes for police could have been protected if the long-delayed western suburbs police hub had been built.

“Without a doubt this incident shows we need that hub for the police, as it appears police resources are spread thinly across the metropolitan area,” Mr Barker said.

In 2010, Premier Colin Barnett announced that a $28 million Claremont police hub would be completed in 2014 but after State Government cutbacks, May’s Budget included $5.6 million in 2017-18 and $8.9 million in 2018-19.

Some police and residents have blamed slow responses on the introduction last year of a UK-sourced policing model that heavily reduced officers at Cottesloe and Wembley police stations, leaving responses to their emergencies to come from Perth and Mirrabooka.

About 9pm last Monday, about nine people bashed Gavin Rodrigues (50) for 20 minutes, hit his girlfriend, trashed a new car and damaged a Curtin Avenue house where their dinner party, including three people aged in their 70s, was being held.

Dinner guests hiding in the house made multiple calls to WA Police’s communications centre in Midland but the first officers arrived from Mirrabooka about 12.15am.

The attackers hit Denyse Rodrigues and she said police later told her they did not want publicity about the delay because it would highlight their responses may not be as fast as criminals would expect in an emergency.

“We acknowledge errors were made, and we are taking steps to address those errors to improve the response to future incidents,” Superintendent Allan Adam said.

Supt Adam said the response to calls from the victims would be reviewed, including if police from other areas could have been sent, but it was a “busy” night that grew from 39 incidents about 9pm to more than 50 about midnight.

“We have a flexible policing model which allows for cross-district resource deployments, and this is something that will be looked at closely to ensure those resources are being made available when needed.”