Grog, youth crime targeted

Glenn CordingleyBroome Advertiser

The region’s most senior police officer said he was “far from satisfied” with the current crime situation across the district, despite some favourable trends emerging.

Kimberley District Superintendent Allan Adams has revealed some of his key strategies for the year ahead, with youth crime-—prevention programs and alcohol supply as the cornerstones.

Region-wide police figures from 2016-17 compared to 2015-16 show spikes in domestic assaults, (1949 to 2599) burglaries (1299 to 1336) and motor vehicle theft (347 to 374) while there were small decreases theft (general) and damage.

So far in 2017-18 compared to the same period last year, burglaries and property damage were up while domestic assaults, motor vehicle theft and theft (general) had decreased.

Supt Adams said a massive increase of burglaries in Fitzroy Crossing (37 to 129) caused the Kimberley blowout for that particular offence.

“This has resulted in provision of special assistance from outside the district, including the allocation of a youth crime intervention officer arriving in February 2018, with a second extra police officer potentially arriving in April 2018,” he said. “After Broome achieved a small reduction in burglary offending in 2016-17, it is very pleasing to see a more solid reduction this year.”

But in the year to date, domestic assaults in Broome dropped (509 to 425), along with motor vehicle theft (116 to 106), property damage (309 to 257) and burglary (308 to 282), while there was a rise in theft (general) (351 to 400).

Supt Adams said there had been a significant effort by local police to target unlawful alcohol consumption, which resulted in major liquor seizures and fewer local cases of domestic violence in Broome.

“However, the sobering aspect is the volume of reported domestic violence assaults in the Kimberley is double the next highest regional WA police district,” he said.

Supt Adams said while there had been reductions of reported violence, it was still at an unacceptably high rate, with alcohol having a constant 75 per cent presence at all serious incidents attended by police.

“There has been ongoing constructive discussions by police around reasonable and consistent Kimberley-wide liquor restrictions, a Kimberley-wide banned drinker register and improved sly grogging legislation,” he said.

“I am very hopeful we will see significant steps realised in 2018 in achieving this suite of tactics to reduce abhorrent levels of violence and disorder that impact on us all.”

Supt Adams said he thought definitive action would be introduced to reduce the impact of alcohol-related violence and disorder by the halfway mark in 2018.

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