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Harvey denies police decline
Picture: Brian Oliver Kwinana MLA Roger Cook claims police resources in the district have been cut under the Barnett Government.

Police Minister Liza Harvey has rejected claims by Kwinana MLA Roger Cook that police resources have been slashed by 25 per cent in the Peel district under the Barnett Government.

Mr Cook said statistics tabled in State Parliament last year by then Police Minister Rob Johnson were damning about police resources for Kwinana and Rockingham.

The statistics revealed the number of police officers for the South Metropolitan/Peel region had dropped from 407 in 2007-08 to 302 in 2011-12.

“We had a lot of complaints from constituents that police response times in the area were getting worse, so we wanted to find out if resources had any role to play in that,” he said.

“What those statistics show is a significant reduction in police numbers since 2008-09. That’s a drastic reduction and is an indication the Government hasn’t invested in police resources in the Rockingham and Kwinana district.”

Mrs Harvey said the Peel district was restructured in 2010 and changed from a regional unit to metropolitan unit.

“The difference in staff numbers is because of this (restructure),” she said.

“There has been no reduction in staff in the Peel district.”

Mr Cook said a Labor-led State Government would put police officers back in the community instead of having them based in stations situated a long way from the community.

“That is particularly important for the people in Baldivis who are obviously a long way away from the Rockingham hub,” he said.

Kwinana independent candidate Carol Adams said she believed old policing ways were gone and the police hub model was here to stay.

Ms Adams said she was passionate about the reintroduction of school-based police officers.

“At least two high schools in the electorate that I have spoken with would welcome such an officer with open arms ... as proactive, grass-root policing,” she said.