Bunbury hostage situation: police praise community response

Police are delighted with successful resolution of a hostage situation in Bunbury overnight and have thanked the community for their assistance during the incident.

Dozens of police assembled on the banks of the Leschenault Inlet near the Bunbury CBD on Thursday evening after a man allegedly strapped explosives to his body and sat in front of a hostage.

Inspector Geoff Stewart from the South West District Office said the community's assistance and understanding were vital in helping police defuse a potentially dangerous situation.

"I would like to thank the Bunbury community for their patience and understanding at what occurred and re-assure them that the situation has been fully resolved," he said.

"Everyone listened to what they were told and what they had to do and it caused relatively minor disruptions.

"Our thanks go out to everyone."

The siege came to an end early on Friday morning when police fired two non-lethal rounds and swarming and arresting the hostage-taker who is believed to be escaped Graylands Psychiatric Hospital patient David Charles Batty.

The hostage was released shortly before this by Mr Batty following police negotiations. 

Mr Batty, 52 was involved in a similar situation in Perth in 2012 before absconding from Graylands Hospital on June 19, 2014.

His escape sparked political discussion over the security of mental health patients in Western Australia which will be reignited following this incident.

Inspector Stewart said police were "really happy" with the result and said residents could go back to business as usual

"Everyone is safe and that was our main goal.

"The situation could have been a lot worse but, it wasn't and we are really thankfully for that. This is because of the training and response of police officers involved and the community's assistance.

Inspector Stewart said police were of the belief that this was an isolated incident and there would be no further disruption to the Bunbury community.

"We are now assisting the Major Crime squad and South West detectives who will now take the investigation forward to find out exactly what happened," he said.

"We're not going to rush and we're going to make sure we have all the information that we need to find out exactly why this situation occurred."

Specialist officers from Perth travelled down to Bunbury to help with a coordinated response to the hostage situation. This included members of the Major Crime squad, the Tactical Response Group and the Traffic Enforcement Group.


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