Midland cops cleaning up crime

When Sen. Sgt Craig Davis took over the reins at Midland police station 12 months ago he was inundated with complaints about the Midland CBD.

After a six-month grassroots policing strategy, the complaints have almost dried up, with an 18 per cent decrease in the number of reported crimes in the area.

The establishment of a Midland CBD team that covered an area between the suburb's two major shopping centres and the train station led to burglary and motor vehicle theft falling 38 per cent, while disorderly conduct dropped nearly 58 per cent.

Sen. Sgt Davis said the team has been tackling antisocial behaviour and their causes before things evolved into serious crime.

"We were finding drinking and drug-taking were starting early in the day about 10 or 11am and at that time it wasn't causing us an issue but because it wasn't being dealt with at that time it was causing us problems later in the day," he explained.

"So what we began doing was dealing with it right from the start and what we found was later in the day there were less antisocial issues and crimes."

Sen. Sgt Davis said the results spoke for themselves and could be attributed to his team's commitment and belief in the policing strategy.

"If ever you do anything and you see a change of five or 10 per cent you've done very well, but as you can see with some of the figures they've been quite dramatic," Sen. Sgt Davis said.

"It is probably better than I could have thought."

Between October and April the team had 551 liquor contacts, many of those simply involving officers tipping out alcohol and trying to educate those involved about the consequences of their drinking.

A further 305 move-on notices were issued and 102 liquor infringements handed out.

Damage, theft, non-domestic assaults and threatening behaviour were all down between 12 and 21 per cent.

"I was receiving weekly complaints in regards to antisocial issues, right from businesses to local members of Parliament," Sen. Sgt Davis said.

"Now we just don't receive complaints because it's not happening out there."

The local and targeted policing model mirrors the new strategy soon to be adopted by WA Police across all the metropolitan regions as part of the Reform 2020 project.

The West Australian

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