Armadale Police have stressed that crime is not just a police problem and everyone needs to work together in order to be successful in reducing the crime rate in and around the Jull Street Mall and the city centre.
Armadale Police District inspector Erica Silwood said while the crime rate has reduced in the Jull Street precinct in the last 12 to 18 months, it is important that the whole community works collaboratively to further reduce the crime rate.
“It cannot just be a police matter, it has to be a matter for everybody, whether you are a business owner, a community member, a non-government or government organisation, we need to work collectively to address the local issues, identify them and work together to resolve anything,” she said.
Inspector Silwood said the main issues that have arisen in the city centre include anti-social behaviour and retail theft, but these problems are no different to what occurs in other mall precincts around Perth.
She also confirmed that assaults and drugs within the Armadale CBD are no more so of an issue than anywhere else.
Senior Sergeant Troy Douglas said he is well aware of the issues that are in Jull Street and his team work on a daily basis to combat those.
“In the Armadale CBD we have a dedicated policing unit, which is our CBD bike team who are highly visible,” he said.
“They are in there daily, riding bikes, walking through the malls, the train station, engaging with the shop owners and specifically targeting any crime offending within the Armadale CBD.”
Senior Sergeant Douglas said Armadale Police also work with other stakeholders including the City of Armadale and the Public Transport Authority as well as various not-for-profit organisations including Neighbourhood Watch and Street Chaplains to resolve the problems.
When asked what the WA Police thought about the idea of reopening the Jull Street Mall to slow-moving one-way traffic in a bid to provide some natural surveillance in the area, inspector Silwood replied saying they didn’t have a standpoint on the matter.
“Opening the mall will lend to perhaps some other problems,” she said.
“There are going to be road users that then need to be policed, there is going to be pedestrians and vehicles in the same place so we don’t know whether that would be a successful crime prevention tool down there so without any evidence that that would be successful, the police have no viewpoint on whether that would be a positive or negative solution.”
The City of Armadale council will meet for a workshop on December 17 to talk about the option of reopening the mall and discuss the options available moving forward.