Kimberley shires welcome operation regional shield but hope for long-term commitment to tackling youth crime

Sam JonesBroome Advertiser
Shire of Wydham-East Kimberley President David Menzel, Shire of Halls Creek President Malcolm Edwards, Shire of Broome President Harold Tracey and Shire of Derby-West Kimberley President Geoff Haerewa.
Camera IconShire of Wydham-East Kimberley President David Menzel, Shire of Halls Creek President Malcolm Edwards, Shire of Broome President Harold Tracey and Shire of Derby-West Kimberley President Geoff Haerewa. Credit: Supplied

Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley President David Menzel has welcomed the State Government’s response to a recent trip to Perth by the Kimberley’s four shire presidents, and says he hopes the focus will continue past the month-long operation regional shield.

On February 11 the Broome Advertiser reported the Kimberley Regional Group, comprising of shire presidents from the region’s four shires, would travel to Perth to lobby the State Government for immediate action on crime.

Less than one week later, WA Police Minister Paul Papalia flew to Broome to announce special operation regional shield, which would see more than 30 extra officers, drones, canine units and the air wing unit deployed to Broome to tackle a wave of “Americanised gangster culture”.

In a statement released on February 21, Cr Menzel said the recognition by senior State Government ministers of the immediate and long-term issues faced in the Kimberley was welcome.

“We hope that the current focus will continue and be expanded to the delivery of more on-the-ground services throughout the Kimberley,” he said.

“Safe houses, on-country facilities, family healing, a reduction in alcohol-related harm and improved education outcomes will remain major priorities for the four Shires going forward.”

He said the KRG remained united in their commitment to better outcomes for the Kimberley, the abatement of the current crime issues and longer term solutions being put in place, and would return to Perth later in the year to follow up with ministers.

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