Minister’s reaction to 24 hour Police Stations’ Low Visitor Numbers

A WA Police internal briefing note revealed that Armadale, Cockburn and Ellenbrook stations, now open 24 hours, were said to be unvisited after midnight.

Extended opening hours till 7pm at Forrestfield, Belmont and Canningvale also saw few attendees, with an average across the three stations of five people over five days.

Police Union President, George Tilbury, said it is a waste of resources and there is no demand for extended hours.

Police Minister, Michelle Roberts, said his comment were nonsense.

She said many other long-term established police stations, like Joondalup, Mirrabooka, Fremanlte, Perth, Midland, Manduarh and Cannington, offer 24 hour facilities regardless of attendance numbers.

“There were some areas that were missing out and didn’t have the same level of service, inlcuding Armadale, Cockburn and Ellenbrook, so that’s why we committed to providing a 24/7 service from those stations,” she said.

Ms Roberts explained that very few people go to any police station after midnight. The opening hours will give the community the reassurance if there is a need to be safe and go to your local police station, there will be someone there to open the door.

Mr Tilbury said the union believes the officers would be better used on the frontline, as opposed to manning a 24 hour police station counter.

The Police Commissioner, Chris Dawson, disbanded the Regional Operations Group and dispersed the officers to particular areas; helping reduce call-out response times and provide a more concentrated proactive service.

“The huge policing districts that were put in place by the former government meant sometimes officers were travelling from one end of the metropolitan area to the other,” said Mrs Roberts.

“Under the new model there will be more frontline officers in those response teams that will be able to respond more quickly,”

Mrs Roberts said the changes Mr Dawson is making are putting the community first and improving response times.

She also said since Commissioner Dawson took office in September last year, he has methodically reviewed the situation over time and is now implementing ways to best deploy his officers to respond to the public.

Re-establishment of the central Regional Operations Group, will see a new branch based in Warwick, in addition to the groups north and south of the river.

“These ROG officers respond above and beyond your police officers; which means if there’s an out of control party or something like that requiring additional resources, the ROG officers will respond,” Ms Roberts said.

Further changes to the departments are continuing until early July.

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