Ongoing crimes in Fitzroy Crossing have raised community concerns that the town doesn’t have the resources to protect people and their property.
Leedal group CEO John Rodrigues told National Indigenous Times that the Fitzroy River Lodge was broken into early Saturday morning, and he and staff were advised by WA Police in Perth that no officers were available to attend.
“The alarm went off at 3.59am, two staff members went down there and called the police. When I got there, they told me they’d be told no one was available to attend, I couldn’t believe it, so I called the local station and it transferred my call to police assistance in Perth, and told them I was calling from Fitzroy Crossing,” he said.
“They said ‘we just got a call from there, there is no one available to attend’. That was around 4.20am. They did attend at around 7.45am,”
“At around 11am on Saturday we were having the broken window repaired and a group turned up and started throwing rocks at staff. We called the police and they chased them off.”
National Indigenous Times contacted WA Police on Monday for comment, but they are yet to respond.
Rodrigues said the BP roadhouse in town was hit last Monday and Tuesday nights, and last Sunday someone broke into his car at his own home and wrecked the steering column and ignition.
“I just had a meeting with [Kimberley police Superintendent] Craig Parkin two weeks ago and he said they had enough officers to cover their shifts, then Saturday morning – no one was working. I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
“People ask about response times – there was no response because there was no one here.”
Mr Rodrigues said three houses had been broken into in one street in the past week, the headquarters of Marra Worra Worra had been hit twice over Christmas, the local post office had been vandalised, and a Nindilingarri Cultural Health Services vehicle recently stolen while delivering food to elderly people in the community.
Fitzroy Crossing station OIC Senior Sergeant Larry Miller recently told National Indigenous Times the underlying factors driving crime in the town that need to be addressed by a united front of groups and agencies.
Local organisations are working to engage youth in positive activities, but antisocial behaviour and crime continues to be a problem in the town.
By Giovanni Torre