Shadow Minister for Police Peter Katsambanis says alarming new nationwide statistics that confirm West Australians are increasingly likely to become victims of violent crime are a reflection of the failure of the McGowan Labor Government.
“The latest victims of crime figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that assaults were up 8% in 2019 compared to the year before, robberies were up 15% and other theft offences were up a staggering 16%,” Mr Katsambanis said.
“These independent statistics starkly reflect the failure of the McGowan Labor Government to deal with crime and properly protect our community from dangerous criminals.
“These figures simply confirm reports we regularly hear from victims across our entire State that violent crime is out of control in our suburbs and towns.
“People feel less safe than ever before in their homes and in the streets, with a genuine fear that they may become the next victim of a violent crime.
“Random and unprovoked assaults can affect anyone, as we saw with the tragic attack on a nightclub manager in Northbridge last weekend.
“The concerning rise in robberies has now occurred two years in a row, with a sharp rise in armed robberies using weapons like bats, bars, clubs, knives or firearms.
“Less than half of all robbers were proceeded against within 30 days, leaving too many of these violent offenders on the streets to repeat their attacks and harm more innocent victims.
“The large increase in theft offences is also a major concern because it confirms the regularly reported rise in retail theft. At a time when retailers are doing it tough, this increased theft places the future of their business and the vital jobs they provide at serious risk.”
Mr Katsambanis said the McGowan Labor Government needed to provide more resources.
“WA Labor have failed to provide enough police to have a strong and highly visible presence across the State to deter criminals and respond quickly to any incidents,” he said.
“That also places our overworked police officers at risk of physical and psychological harm as they are constantly being asked to do more with less resources.
“Labor’s only response to a spike in crime is to move police officers from region to region as a knee-jerk response to community and media pressure. This approach leaves our community at increased risk from brazen criminals who believe they can get away with violent attacks on law-abiding citizens.
“A Liberal Government would put more police officers on the beat to look after the safety and wellbeing of our community.”