Top cop’s crime crack down

Top cop’s crime crack down

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Canning Police District’s new superintendent Greg Knott says a return to traditional local policing is already affecting burglaries. Photograph – Richard Polden.

Cannington’s top cop is cracking down and wants the community to know about it.

The superintendent of the new Cannington Police District, Greg Knott, has already headed up a number of operations he said had directly targeted the main causes of crime in Canning suburbs: repeat offenders who strike a number of suburbs on any given night.

“We had operation Sky Band running, and we’ve had other operations running through South Perth and the like,” he said.

“So it’s not just in that area in particular.

“What we are doing is targeting the people we believe are active in those areas, and we’ve had some success.”

The new Police District model has seen the existing four police districts expand to eight; a move which WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said will make police more effective in a local area.

Supt Knott said he understands the community’s general exhaustion with the regularity of break-ins to homes and cars, and said the new process has already been effective.

“What we’ve seen is a decrease in activity in that area already,” he said.

“From what we’ve seen, as of last night, as per operation Purple Stone, which has been operating through South Perth and Como, we locked up four people overnight and we recovered a lot of property.

“On top of that, we have ongoing plans for more operations throughout suburbs like Fernwood and Parkwood and the surrounding areas, as well as the ongoing process of localising each of our teams and getting them fully familiar with the community in which they work.

“It’s a gradual process, but we are seeing success.”

The new model replaces Frontline 2020, former police commissioner Carl O’Callaghan’s statewide police restructure.

Police Minister Michelle Roberts halted Frontline 2020 late last year, with the new model effectively reversing Frontline’s centralisation of forces to place more local policing teams in suburbs.

It’s a transition to a more traditional form of policing which Supt Knott admits is the best way to go.

“What we learned is that police need to work locally,” he said.

“This is what this new model is all about.

“As always, we urge residents to be cautious and responsible with their own belongings. Thieves, especially repeat thieves, will target anything left out in the open, so as always you need to be careful.

“It’s local about empowerment; it’s about those local officers having responsibility for their subdistrict.

“That means everything that happens in that subdistrict and the response to the community in relation to that.”

Supt Knott said police would be connecting with the community on a level not attempted before, with active communication through social media now forming a primary part of investigating crimes like burglaries.

In this, Cannington Police will play a much more present role on social media, and will maintain contact on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Supt Knott shares Commissioner Dawson’s confidence the new plan will tackle what has become a fervent issue in the local community, which shows in how the local teams have adapted.

“The response by the officers in charge and their teams has been a positive one,” he said.

“This is something that they asked for when they were surveyed by the WA Police Union.

“Those teams have ownership of investigations and response to local community issues and will be empowered to make decisions at the local level.”