Liberal leader Zak Kirkup has committed to boosting police numbers in the Mid-West Gascoyne to tackle out of control violent crime in Geraldton as part of a $500 million guarantee to bolster WA’s Police Force with an extra 1200 officers.
Mr Kirkup said it was appalling that the Labor Government had not given the Mid-West Gascoyne its authorised full-strength police numbers.
“Violent crime is out of control in Geraldton, increasing by 75 per cent under this Labor Government,” Mr Kirkup said.
“With such a huge spike, the Police Minister needs to explain why the Mid-West Gascoyne is so critically understaffed. It has 19 fewer officers than its authorised full strength.
“It is completely unacceptable that the hard-working police officers in the Mid-West Gascoyne are so under-resourced. Labor are failing dismally at keeping the community safe.
“The latest figures from October reveal that 14 of Western Australia’s 16 police districts are under-strength, including every single regional district in the state, at a time when violent crime in regional WA is at record levels.
“Our commitment to an additional 1200 police officers shows how seriously we value protecting the safety of West Australians.
“Bolstering the police force to its capacity in the Mid-West Gascoyne is a central plank of the Liberals’ plan for a safer, smarter today and a better, brighter future for this important local community.”
Liberal candidate for Geraldton Rob Dines welcomed the commitment to extra police resources.
“The Mid-West Gascoyne is crying out for a larger and more visible police presence to tackle this alarming increase in violent crime,” Mr Dines said.
“The Liberals will commit to more boots on the ground, which will provide our dedicated police officers with more capacity to reduce crime.
“The public should know that only a Liberal Government will provide enough frontline police officers to keep our communities safe.
“We will provide an extra 300 police officers to regional WA. Rural and regional communities like the Mid-West Gascoyne have been neglected by Labor, with violent crime now the worst on record and every single rural and regional police district operating below full-strength.
“This commitment will give the Police Commissioner the extra resources he needs to ensure the Mid-West Gascoyne has the maximum number of officers.
“People deserve to feel safe when they venture out into the community, they should be able to feel safe in their own front yard and in their own home.”