Two additional police officers were sent to Kalumburu and a further four officers were on standby earlier this week after violent riots caused by family feuding broke out in the remote Aboriginal community.
Rioting at the community started last Thursday but a more dangerous feud broke out on Saturday, prompting Kalumburu’s two police officers to call for backup.
Kununurra police acting Senior Sergeant Peter Janczyk said the situation was volatile. “It involved about 60 people on the streets,” acting Sen. Sgt Janczyk said.
“They were armed with knives and machetes, threatening violence and damage to houses.
“One of the families actually locked themselves in a house in the community and those who were out in the street were throwing rocks.”
Two Kununurra police officers flew to Kalumburu that afternoon, while a further two officers flew there on Sunday to pick up five prisoners.
Trespassing, possessing weapons and breaching violent restraining orders were among the charges issued as a result of the feud.
A Kununurra and a Wyndham officer were still at Kalumburu on Tuesday, when a meeting was scheduled to attempt to mediate members of the two opposing families. Acting Sen. Sgt Janczyk said it was lucky no injuries had been reported.
“We’ve just got to monitor the situation at this stage,” he said.
“If it does blow up, we have a response team ready in Kununurra to fly out there as soon as possible.
“That would be four officers all kitted up and ready to go.
“The majority of those officers are riot-trained as well.”