Crime rate drops as infrastructure improves in suburb of Withers

A five-year-long project by the Withers Advisory Committee to reinvigorate and reduce crime in the suburb has been signaled to its end. Pictured: SWDC representatives Deanna Farze and Amanda Gregory, acting Mayor Brendan Kelly and James Hayward. Photo: Ivy James

A five-year-long project by the Withers Advisory Committee to reinvigorate and reduce crime in the suburb has been signaled to its end. Pictured: SWDC representatives Deanna Farze and Amanda Gregory, acting Mayor Brendan Kelly and James Hayward. Photo: Ivy James

Progress within the suburb of Withers is visible with the installation of closed-circuit TV cameras, the closure of alleyways, increased footpath networks, park upgrades and bus shelters. 

The work costing nearly $1.3 million to develop a sense of place in the suburb of Withers, was a five-year-long project committed to by the soon-to-be disbanded Withers Advisory Committee.

An informal celebratory gathering to mark the closure of the committee was held last Friday at the Hudson Family Centre and was attended by City of Bunbury and South West Development Commission representatives.  

Also in attendance was Bunbury Police Station officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Mal Jones who said increased surveillance and the closure of several laneways in Withers had contributed to reduced crime rates.

Sen-Sgt Jones said the crime rate in Withers had dropped by six per cent in the 2015-16 year, equating to 30-40 less crimes being reported and a reduction in assaults, robbery and damage offences. 

He said an extra 26 police officers and eight detectives will be recruited to strengthen police presence around Bunbury. 

"It's being recognised by government and by hierarchy within WA police that we haven't had an increase in police numbers in 20 years," he said.

"Bunbury is a growing regional area and we're getting those increases now and that means more bums on seats and more visibility on the road."   

Looking into the future, a three-way partnership will be struck between the City of Bunbury, the South West Development Commission and the Housing Authority to work on a Withers Urban Renewal Plan.  

The scope of the plan includes identifying promoting local activities and projects, communication and involvement with the community and pursuing land development opportunities. 

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