South West Superintendent Geoff Stewart thanks residents for response to COVID lockdown

Superintendent Geoff Stewart is centre, along with four local officers being trained to be RPAS (drone) pilots. Photo supplied.
Superintendent Geoff Stewart is centre, along with four local officers being trained to be RPAS (drone) pilots. Photo supplied.

Let me start by saying thank you. Thank you for the over-whelming support and commitment to the COVID lockdown demands on you and your families. The community has responded so well. Yes, the panic buying needs some tweaking but overall, outstanding.

It was clearly hard for some, especially those businesses affected and particularly families separated. Whether it was overseas, over east or even between other areas of our own state, people had to endure.

From a policing perspective, our job was somewhat easier because people did the right thing. Of course, there were individuals who needed to make noise and a stand against the government's efforts and intent and we expect that but it was very minimal.

Our Commissioner had a great approach around this and made it very clear to us that he would much rather us explain and reason or hand out masks than enforcement. I have no doubt this was the way to go and most people who ended up doing the right thing. Those that didn't, they got the enforcement but they were a very small number.

Our biggest thanks go to our health and associated workers. I have become acutely aware ever since this horrid virus became a threat last year just how lucky we are to have such dedicated and compassionate people working around the clock to do nothing but help all of us.

From the management team right down top the frontline, they have and continue to do such an amazing job and we are forever indebted to them.

The jobs not over by any stretch but I have to say, I am so glad to live in this part of the world and have these incredible professionals on the case. My takeaway is, if it happens again, we have done it before and we can get through it. Did I mention we just have to work on the panic buying?

And whilst health workers were just going about their business, along came our other heroes on the frontline. When our south west career and volunteer firies weren't up at Wooroloo, they were back down at Yallingup fighting bushfires, saving people, saving homes.

We have confirmed the two recent fires at Injidup and Yallingup were deliberately lit and having seen the devastation caused at Wooroloo, it is so hard to comprehend why anyone would want to light fires.

But they did and why we want you to help us catch them. If you were in either area on February 6, you may have some small piece of information, dashcam or CCTV. Please ring Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.