Police plan response to safety concerns

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Great Southern police say the perception crime is rising in Albany is not reflected in official statistics and remain committed to continuing to improve community satisfaction and perceived safety.

Results from the Albany Advertiser’s community crime survey revealed 96 per cent of respondents believed Albany’s crime rate was rising, with almost 40 per cent stating they had been a victim of crime in the past 12 months.

The survey was conducted in response to two recent assaults near Albany’s nightspots, with 88 per cent stating they did not feel safe walking the streets of Albany’s CBD at night and 58 per cent saying they did not feel safe from crime in their homes.

Assaults (51 per cent) and burglaries (39 per cent) concerned respondents the most.

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While crime figures for the financial year are yet to be finalised, Great Southern police Detective-Inspector Mark Twamley said overall crime rates were down compared with last financial year.

“Whilst property crime was up marginally, crimes against the person were significantly reduced,” he said.

“Whilst these figures are encouraging, we still see room for improvement and ask all community members to join with us in working to improve the safety and security of the Great Southern.”

Det-Insp. Twamley said residents needed to do what they could to combat crime by securing their belongings, while reducing the demand for methampheta-mine was important in combating crime.

“The Great Southern region is not immune from the scourge of methamphetamine use,” he said.

“If we can reduce demand for this evil drug, we can send the dealers and suppliers elsewhere.

“From a policing perspective, you can expect to see ongoing operations throughout the year that target suppliers and dealers.”

Det-Insp. Twamley said he hoped planned community crime forums in suburbs would result in greater input from residents in the Great Southern.

“We also hope to engage more closely with the community through expanding our social media presence, encouraging more timely information to be conveyed to our officers out on patrol,” he said.

“The community crime survey conducted by the Albany Advertiser shows the community is still concerned by crime in the Great Southern.

“Whilst the survey results are not supported by our statistics, and our own surveys show we regu-larly outperform the State aver-ages in community satisfaction and perceived safety, we acknowledge that the perception of crime is still important to the health and wellbeing of residents.”

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