Bob Wiese

Bob Wiese


    Police Service reforms designed to improve community safeguards

    24/01/1996 12:00 AM

    January 24, 1996


    Police Minister Bob Wiese said the reform and restructuring of the Western Australian Police Service was designed to create a better service to help safeguard the community.


    Mr Wiese said it was a Government priority to assist the police service to adopt modern business practices and methods to enable officers to operate more effectively and efficiently in fighting crime.


    "To achieve the best result, it is fundamental to have an organisation which is streamlined and focused on setting new standards," he said.


    "This reform process has been taking shape through the Delta Program, which is a partnership between the Government and the police service to ensure the community receives the quality of service it deserves."


    Mr Wiese said the early retirement package being offered to all commissioned officers was purely on a voluntary basis. He said the voluntary offer provided an opportunity for the officers to apply to be a part of the new structure or the chance to leave the service with financial support.


    "No officer will be forced to leave the service and all officers will have an equal opportunity to apply and be a part of the new structure or to move on to other challenges," he said.


    "The voluntary offer enables each individual officer to make his own decision-based on his own personal circumstances and goals.


    "Officers will be given retraining and a range of other assistance if they decide to seek alternative opportunities."


    Mr Wiese said the McCarrey Report and the Arthur Anderson Scoping Report found the police service was being run by outdated management techniques and was `excessively top heavy'.


    The Scoping Report - a wide ranging review of the WA police service - states that from June 1984 to June 1993 the number of commissioned officers increased by 104 per cent - from 110 to 224 - while the entire service only grew by 46 per cent. During the same period, the number of non-operational officers increased by 66 per cent while the number of operational officers increased by only 35 per cent.


    "Both the McCarrey and Scoping Reports highlighted a police service that was losing touch with the community and under previous management and the previous Government the service was in desperate need of major reform," Mr Wiese said.


    "The new structure is all about accountability and restoring the authority and responsibility for protecting the community back into the hands of local police.


    "The restructure will combine the three arms of the police service - general duties, traffic and crime operations - under integrated regional commands creating greater flexibility and better use of existing resources.


    "This breaks down the outdated centralised chains of command and re-establishes regional autonomy by the local officers, rather than being driven by headquarters in Perth."


    Media contact: Amanda O'Brien 222 9595 or pager 480 5968