Bob Wiese

Bob Wiese


    Coalition committed to continued improvement of police facilities

    29/11/1996 12:00 AM



    To help safeguard local communities in Western Australia the Coalition Government is committed to continuing its multi-million dollar program to improving police facilities and equipment.


    Police Minister Bob Wiese said next year construction would begin on five new police stations and three new police district offices to maintain the program to create a more effective localised Police Service.


    Launching the Coalition's policy on police, Mr Wiese said a key initiative was a new academy to provide new recruits and serving officers with the latest training and educational facilities.


    "Our police have a tough job out there on the streets and they deserve the best training environment in readiness for the difficult task they face ahead," he said.


    "The new academy will be done in conjunction with a university or a TAFE college and will also provide life-like settings - like a simulated court room and a police station - for officers to train in their future roles."


    Mr Wiese said new police stations would be constructed at Gosnells, Morley, Murdoch, Hillarys and Dunsborough during 1997-98. New police district offices would be commenced next year at Cannington, Mirrabooka and Geraldton.


    The Government would provide more than $100 million over the next four years for the capital works program which would include the replacement, upgrading and construction of police stations throughout the State.


    "Building and refurbishing police facilities is an investment in the community's fight against crime," he said.


    "The Coalition Government inherited a Police Service from the previous Government that was in a deplorable condition - some police could not even do patrols because there was not enough fuel for their vehicles.


    "In stark contrast, this Government is financially committed to supplying our officers with the facilities and equipment necessary to do their job effectively and efficiently."


    For policing of the future Mr Wiese said 10 Mobile Police Facilities (MPFs) had been ordered at a total cost of $1 million and should be operational throughout the State during the next 12 months.


    These versatile vehicles give police the freedom to respond at trouble spots with all the technological facilities of a police station.


    The MPFs are equipped with a facsimile machine, telephones, and a computer system that can tap into the central police computer service. It also has kitchen facilities, including a fridge, electric generators and provision to tow or carry bicycles for patrol duty.


    "Successful policing is about innovative ideas in the fight against crime and being mobile and flexible to deal with a wide range of criminal activity is policing of the future," Mr Wiese said.


    "The MPFs can also assist in dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters - cyclone, bushfire or flooding - when a police presence is urgently required to move into an area to help the local community."


    The Coalition Government will implement other important measures to reduce crime in WA. These will include:


    ·       commit $2.5 million to build on the work done by the State Crime Prevention Strategy;


    ·       establish a Motor Vehicle Theft Steering Committee - which will report to Government - to examine and recommend appropriate strategies to reduce motor vehicle theft;


    ·       complete the comprehensive review of the 100 year old Police Act with a view to drafting and introducing new legislation;


    ·       provide $1.65 million over four years to ensure the Fraud Squad is appropriately and adequately resourced with legal and accounting expertise;


    ·       an allocation of $12 million over four years to continue the Operational Efficiency Program to provide police with new equipment to assist their operational duties, like computers and facsimile machines;


    ·       introduce legislation to regulate and control the possession and use of certain dangerous weapons, such as, knives, replica firearms and martial arts weapons; and -


    ·       expand the successful Crime Stoppers program to include rural participation.


    Media contact: Mark Thompson on 322 2311 or pager 482 4648