Bob Wiese

Bob Wiese


    Opposition policy on police pre-empted by Coalition programs

    11/12/1996 12:00 AM



    The Opposition's policy on police was a sham and simply poached crime-fighting programs that were already in place, according to Police Minister Bob Wiese.


    Mr Wiese said Labor's policy was a cheap and gimmicky attempt at cashing in on the wide-ranging initiatives that the Police Commissioner was currently implementing throughout the State, such as Mobile Policing Facilities and the quick response Independent Patrol Group.


    "It is a disgrace that the Opposition can claim credit for blatantly promoting a carbon copy of innovative police programs that are already taking place," he said.


    "Their policy is utter nonsense and the Opposition have again highlighted their total ignorance of how the Western Australian Police Service operates, because no government can dictate to the Police Commissioner on how to utilise his resources.


    "Quite clearly the Opposition lack any understanding of the radical and profound changes being made under the Delta Program and they have made no effort to learn of the details by not attending any briefings that have been offered."


    Mr Wiese said three Mobile Policing Facilities (MPFs) were already operational. Another 10 had been ordered, at a total cost of more than $600,000, and would be operational within the metropolitan and country regions within the next six months - not some time during the next four years, as stated in the Labor policy.


    The new versatile vehicles - which are each worth $60,000 fully equipped - gave police the freedom to strike at trouble spots with all the technological facilities of a police station.


    "The Opposition is already short-changing the community by only offering nine of these facilities - what happened to the tenth facility which is already on order?" Mr Wiese said.


    "This Coalition Government is financially committed and determined to assist and support our police officers in delivering the level of service the community needs and has a right to expect."


    Mr Wiese said police crime-fighting programs being conducted in partnership with the community were having a positive impact in reducing the crime rate.


    During the last quarter - ending September 30 this year - there was a 3.24 per cent drop in the overall crime rate with significant decreases in burglary - nearly eight per cent - and motor vehicle theft - more than 17 per cent.


    The Minister said the Coalition Government had allocated nearly $58 million over three years to upgrade metropolitan and country police stations throughout the State and to re-equip the WA police service. During the next term of government more than $100 million has been allocated to continue the program.


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


    "This year, five new police stations have been opened, three more are currently under construction and another five stations will be built next year."


    Mr Wiese said the Opposition had adopted a piece-meal approach to its law and order package by offering the community light-weight initiatives, rather than a comprehensive policy aimed at reducing crime.


    "The Opposition is content to bluff the community with a half-hearted attempt at tackling law and order - a stark contrast to this Government's approach which is already achieving positive results with a drop in the overall crime rate," he said.


    Media contact: Mark Thompson 222 9595