Perth streets could be short by 35 police officers if the State Government’s pledge to turn three police stations including one in Armadale into 24-hour centres is kept.
Premier Mark McGowan repeatedly pledged during last month’s state election campaign to change the stations in Armadale, Cockburn and Ellenbrook so they would offer around the clock front counter service.
Last week deputy commissioner of operations Stephen Brown said about a dozen officers were needed at each station to provide the 24-hour service.
He said these officers would be taken off the streets to provide the service and it would mean fewer police cars on the road.
Perth currently has seven police stations that operate a front counter service at all hours of the day and night and the three stations were scheduled to have their opening hours extended.
WA Police Union president George Tilbury said he was concerned about taking officers off the street to fill a desk role.
He said one of his concerns was officers who were kept on the beat would continue to work with fewer resources or support and could be stretched to breaking point in some areas.
Police Minister Michelle Roberts said there would be no adverse impact from the change and public safety in the areas around the stations would improve.
The Labor Party pledged $7 million during the state election to support the changes to stations’ operating hours.
At the moment the closest 24-hour police station to Armadale is the Cannington Police Station 20-kilometres away.