Big boost to police resources
South Hedland’s police force is to receive a big boost, with seven extra officers and a police dog being added to the team.
Police Minister Michelle Roberts, who travelled to South Hedland Police Station for the announcement, said the permanent additions would make Hedland a safer place.
The seven recruits, who follow four new detectives at Port Hedland Police Station, will include two new sergeants, one of whom will focus on liquor enforcement and alcohol-related harm.
South Hedland Senior Sergeant Dean Snashall said the team was excited about the extra resources because it would allow more scope for a combination of proactive and reactive policing methods.
“There were some clear indications over recent months that having the access to extra police officers assisted in reducing reported crime,” he said. “I was able to experiment during the last three months by deploying the extra resources in a variety of targeted operations. It was these operations that have not previously been possible due to the tasking demands on my staff that have produced some very positive results.”
The extra resources come as a three-month rotation of additional officers in Port Hedland has ended, which has led to a significant decrease in crime, South Hedland station statistics show.
Ms Roberts said it was feedback from new Minister for the Pilbara Kevin Michel that helped highlight the need for resources at a ministerial level.
“While the local team here has been making some inroads in crime rates, there’s still a lot more to be done,” she said.
“Police recently determined they could free up resources to send the additional resources here.
“The police dog and the dog handler based here in South Hedland will be a first ... the police dogs are amazing and they do great work in the local community.”
During the 11-week deployment of additional officers at South Hedland Police Station, there has been a 59 per cent decrease in motor vehicle theft, a 37 per cent fall in burglaries, a 21 per cent cut in domestic assaults and a 33 per cent decline in stealing.
“It must be said that simply placing extra police on the beat is not what reduced the crime but rather it was the manner in which they were deployed,” Sen. Sgt Snashall said.
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