Goldfields Minister Ian Taylor said the establishment of a mounted police unit in Kalgoorlie-Boulder will cement police/community relations and cut crime in the city.
The announcement of new country mounted police units in Kalgoorlie, Geraldton and Bunbury is a feature of the Adding Value policy announced this week by Premier Carmen Lawrence.
"The Government will continue to expand community policing schemes," Mr Taylor said.
"The mounted police have proved their popularity and effectiveness on every visit they have made to Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
"Apart from the excellent public image they present, the police on horseback are more effective than their colleagues on foot in situations where there are crowds or where vision is obscured.
"The horses are trained to cope with crowded situations and would be ideal for certain times of the year in Kalgoorlie-Boulder like the race round and New Year's Eve."
Mr Taylor said the mounted police unit had worked well in known city trouble spots because of its ability to patrol effectively along back laneways.
Introducing the units to country areas was part of the Government's plan for better and safer communities.
"The extra 227 police available for operational duty in the next six months and the allocation of 50 new officers to the Commissioner of Police to double the number of mounted police will give Western Australia the highest police-to-citizen ratio of any State in Australia," Mr Taylor said.
"The Premier has promised to work quickly to introduce these and other law and order initiatives with a special sitting of Parliament planned for this year.
"The special sitting last February which dealt with the serious repeat offenders legislation showed that it was possible to move quickly in securing all-party support for vital Government legislation."
Mr Taylor said while the juvenile justice legislation last year was widely criticised as unduly harsh, it achieved its objective of turning around a disturbing trend in juvenile crime.
However, the rate of juvenile crime was still unacceptable and the Government would pursue a number of initiatives as a matter of priority.
These included legislation to:
· have the courts deal more severely with acts of violence than property offences and to take into account any disregard for public safety, lack of remorse by offenders and the circumstances of victims when handing down sentences;
· provide for bigger compensation payments to victims of crime, allow them to have a say in whether offenders should be paroled and under what conditions, and to expand the rights of people to protect themselves and their property;
· abolish remissions on minimum sentences;
· establish mobile work camps where carefully selected low-security prisoners could repay their debt to society by working on environmental and community projects;
· ensure that offenders who became intoxicated by alcohol, drugs or glue sniffing for the purpose of committing a crime did not receive reduced sentences because of their intoxication;
· provide greater protection for families by increasing the powers of police to deal with domestic crisis situations;
· make parents more accountable for the consequences of their children's behaviour by giving more power to the Children's Court. Parents could be ordered to attend programs aimed at improving their ability to supervise their children.