The State Government has doubled down on its position on the crime wave gripping Broome, claiming local services and police have the means to tackle the problem. It comes as Shire of Broome president Chris Mitchell expressed his dismay at the ongoing crime and lack of support from the State Government in an opinion piece published in the Broome Advertiser last week. “We have contacted key State Government ministers to discuss various issues, including youth justice and community safety,” he said. “I urge them to work more closely with the Shire and our community to ensure a collective commitment that can achieve the desired outcomes.” And while Premier Roger Cook asserted police had the resources to tackle the problem on November 13, Cr Mitchell said it does nothing to address the causes of crime. “The State Government has made good on its promise to send more police to the Kimberley,” Cr Mitchell said. “But while this has been helpful, it doesn’t address the root causes of youth crime, ranging from inadequate housing, social dysfunction, truancy and alcohol-related violence.” A $15 million on-country juvenile justice facility promised for the Kimberley remains in limbo since the project was delayed by the once in a century flooding event in early 2023. Known as Marlamanu and located on Myroodah Station 130km south-east of Derby, the project has been touted as an alternative sentencing option to Banksia Hill designed for boys aged 14 to 17. When asked by the Broome Advertiser for an update on the progress of the facility which was first announced in 2020, none was provided. And while the Government admitted Broome has seen a “spike” in youth criminal activity of late, a State Government spokesperson said overall youth crime rates in WA were dropping and were below the national average. “Youth offending rates have been falling for the past 15 years, indicating contemporary interventions are effective in addressing offending behaviour,” they said. “Over the past five years in WA, the number of young people being supervised in the community has fallen by 29 per cent. For those in detention, the number has fallen by 23 per cent, better than the national average. “On occasion, individual regions like the Kimberley may experience a spike in offending rates. In response, the Government has made considerable investments in the region to provide both short and long-term intervention and support.” The State Government supplied a list of funding and initiatives already in place to address the youth crime issue, including a recent $1m grant to reduce crime and improve community safety. But Cr Mitchell said recent images of young children being arrested were a stark reminder that the justice system is ill-equipped to deal with minors. “Repeat offenders often face little consequence to give them a chance at life. But with inadequate assistance to help them make the most of the opportunity, many end up reoffending,” he said. “Others end up in Banksia Hill Detention Centre in Perth, which is also ineffective at preventing future reoffending.” WA’s director of liquor licensing Lanie Chopping is considering extending alcohol restrictions in Broome as a solution to battle the ongoing crime wave, as revealed by The West Australian.