Shadow Police minister Michelle Roberts will visit Capel today to announce Labor’s plans to build a new $8 million Capel police station should the party win government in March, despite the WA Police Commissioner rubbishing the idea in 2014.
Ms Roberts said the government had ignored the Capel community’s repeated requests for a police station to be built in their town and a McGowan Labor government would deliver the facility to improve safety in the region.
“The Barnett government has ignored the Capel community’s pleas for years and years now,” she said.
“Home invasions, graffiti on private property and hooning are all serious and ongoing issues for Capel people.”
WA Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan was asked about plans to build a police station in Capel when he attended a crime forum in Bunbury in September 2014.
He told the crowd he didn’t want a police station in Capel and they shouldn’t either.
Stop asking me for a police station in Capel – I don’t want it to happen and you shouldn’t either.WA Police commissioner Karl O'Callaghan in 2014.
“If you build a new police station you need people in it to run it,” he said at the time.
“Bunbury has one police station and a better solution would be to have more officers based there to keep them on the street actually doing stuff to stop crime.
“Buildings are just walls and a roof and officers only use them as a place to get dressed in their uniform and park the cars.”
Member for Collie-Preston Mick Murray said Capel people should not feel unsafe in their homes and with the crime levels in WA the way they are, the government need to act.
“Capel is a growing community and with that unfortunately comes the burden of more crime. Our residents, particularly some of our elderly people, are feeling unsafe in their homes and this local station will do a lot to give people peace of mind.
“The slow response times when Capel residents report matters to the police is a serious issue. The new local station will ensure we have officers on the ground and ready to respond when called upon.
“The Barnett government likes to talk big on crime but a McGowan government will actually get on and build a local station to fight crime in the area.”