Forum hears local crime concerns

Forum hears local crime concerns

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Alyssa Hayden and Peter Katsambanis. Photograph - Richard Polden.

A lack of police presence stood out amongst key issues raised in a neighbourhood crime forum last week. 

On March 4 Member for Darling Range Alyssa Hayden, along with shadow police minister Peter Katsambanis, hosted local residents at Frye Park Pavilion in Kelmscott to talk about crime concerns. 

Members from the Serpentine Jarrahdale and Armadale communities attended the meeting, voicing concerns over mental health, drug use and petty crime. 

Almost unanimously held was concern over the lack of police presence in the area. 

Kelmscott resident Tracey Huggins said petty crime and drug use was going unchecked and the lack of authoritative presence made her feel uneasy. 

“It’s actually scary to go to the local shopping centre … I actually have been going to Gosnells to shop,” she said. 

Residents raised the issue of CCTV believing it was a useful tool but under-utilised. 

“There is a live feed of CCTV in Jull Street but the police don’t have anyone to watch it,” said one resident. 

Shadow police minister Peter Katsambanis said every community he visits is crying for more police officers and that he wanted to see this happen. 

“There is no shortage of people wanting to become police officers who are perfectly capable of the job,” he said. 

“The government is sitting on a budget surplus … they need to apply some of that surplus to making our community safer.” 

However, Police Minister Michelle Roberts said the government had already provided a boost to the police force, including $5 million in funding for Operation Heat Shield and that it was able to do this due to its strong financial management. 

“In the Armadale district alone this has so far resulted in 121 additional patrol hours,” she said. 

“Our aim is to continue to cut crime by providing police with the resources they need.”