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Fitzroy Crossing locals call for greater resources to tackle crime

Giovanni Torre -
:

Fitzroy Crossing residents say their calls to police for help are being diverted to Broome or even Perth, and have called for more resources to be dedicated to the Valley to tackle crime and the causes of crime.

Patrick Green, a concerned resident and chair of the Leedal Foundation, said the section 64 alcohol restrictions placed on the town more than 15 years ago were not supposed to operate in isolation.

"The restrictions were introduced and there was hope that was going to bring additional services, including police, but it hasn’t happened," he told National Indigenous Times.

"And so we have to put up with it, the section 64 restrictions have been in Fitzroy Crossing for more than 15 years now and the services are yet to come.

"Policing is one that currently stands out. When we have to call for police we get referred to Broome or elsewhere.”

Another resident told National Indigenous Times they had calls to police diverted to Perth when they wanted to report a theft.

The locals spoke out after stolen vehicles were raced through the town and used to do burnouts on Tuesday night.



Mr Green noted that while greater police resources would increase the capacity of local police, it was only one piece of the puzzle.

“We need to review the section 64 restrictions and all of the services that were promised in association with them, and look at why they are not there," he said.

“That review needs to ask - Why isn’t it improving to date? What are we doing to improve those services?

"We continually raise the issues of the crime rate... but we need to ask why the restrictions have not been reviewed, and look at services brought into Fitzroy Valley.

"I am from Fitzroy and I want to see Fitzroy improve. I have always worked to try to advance Fitzroy."

A WA Police Force spokesperson told National Indigenous Times that Fitzroy Crossing Police Station is "currently adequately resourced and will soon be at capacity for sworn officers".

"Additional officers from ‘Operation Regional Shield’, are also providing support to the station," he said.

"The station is operationally resourced by officers 24 hours a day (the front counter operates during business hours). Phones are diverted to Broome Police Station while officers from Fitzroy Crossing are on the road and in the community. Members of the public are always encouraged to ring 131 444 and in cases of emergency 000."

National Indigenous Times has contacted WA Minister for Police Paul Papalia for comment.

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