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Government to encourage more women police officers
25/01/2001 9:05 AM
Police Minister Kevin Prince said today the Coalition Government would work with the Commissioner for Police to increase the numbers of women police officers by more than 280 over the next term of office.
There are now 618 women police officers in the WA Police Service and the Coalition would like to see this figure rise to 900.
Mr Prince said it was important to continue the work being done to identify and remove barriers that discouraged women from joining the police service and to retain those who did.
“Women currently make up less than 15 per cent of all sworn officers,” he said.
“For some time now the Government and the Commissioner of Police have recognised the need to increase the numbers of women in the sworn ranks to make the service more representative of the general community.
“This includes encouraging women already in the service to apply for senior positions.
“WA Police Commissioner Barry Matthews has approved a Women’s Advisory Network.
“Its role is to respond to the needs of women working in a police environment and provide an avenue for advice and feedback to the Commissioner and the Police Service Command.”
Mr Prince said the inaugural Australasian Women in Policing conference identified 12 critical issues for women working in police services including:
lack of women in management;
inflexible work schedules;
reduced career options; and -
a masculine work environment
“Good progress has been made in WA with a range of promotional initiatives designed to attract women into the service,” Mr Prince said.
“Additionally policy and procedures supporting part-time work for staff is being revised as well as other flexible work practices to enable the service to retain, recruit and promote women.”
Mr Prince said the strategies being put in place were working with women making up 26 per cent of the 220 police officers recruited in 1999-2000.
“Of the last two intakes of that year, 41 per cent and 33 per cent respectively were women and of the first graduation ceremony for this year, 34 per cent were women,” the Minister said.
“This trend is very heartening and the Government will support the initiatives being undertaken by the Commissioner and the WA Police Service to address the issues in this area.”
Mr Prince said under representation of women in policing was a national problem.
“This lead to the formation of the Commissioners’ Australasian Women in Policing Advisory Committee (CAWIPAC) - the prime advisory group to police commissioners,” he said.
“The WA Police Service hosted two CAWIPAC meetings in Perth last year and an action plan has been endorsed.”
Media contact: Caroline Lacy 9220 5000