WA police officers will be called on to work extra shifts as part of a $5 million boost to resources over the summer period.
Operation Heat Shield was launched this morning by the State Government and WA Police and will involve extra funding for 55,000 additional policing hours from next month.
The operation will increase the visible police presence in Perth’s suburbs and the CBD and target major shopping centres, entertainment precincts and transport hubs.
It will also allow officers to do more proactive operations targeting burglary, retail theft and family violence.
WA Police Minister Michelle Roberts said the operation would run through summer until the end of May.
“We know historically there is a spike in crime over the summer months, so this is about being proactive and giving the community reassurance,” she said.
“Whilst there types of operations have been run in the past, the McGowan Government is providing record funding to ensure a sustained effort by police across the State.”
You will see a greater police presence everywhere you go across the metropolitan area and regional WA.
WA Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Dreibergs said the extra manpower gave police the ability to respond to incidents and plan proactive operations.
“The benefit of overtime and extra police hours is that it gives us flexibility to deploy our resources,” he said.
“When we are planning, if we suddenly have a spike in one area … we can deploy additional resources to that area immediately.
“You will see a greater police presence everywhere you go across the metropolitan area and regional WA.”
It is expected the more visible police presence will also deter anti-social behaviour in entertainment precincts and comes after analysis of crime rates by The West Australian revealed offences in the CBD and Northbridge are at their highest level this decade.
The West Australian this month revealed the City of Perth’s demands for a beefed-up police presence to stem the rising level and severity of street violence.
The city was so worried about the problem it compiled a dossier of the worst attacks — captured on the council’s own CCTV cameras — to convince WA Police’s top brass of the need for more resources.
WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson later conceded he did want more officers but needed to work through proper processes with the State Government.