The Cook Labor Government must urgently address police resourcing across the State following an alarming spike in crime statistics.
Shadow Police Minister Peter Collier said the latest statistics from 2022-2023 showed crime was at epidemic proportions.
Mr Collier said the number of family-related offences was particularly concerning in light of the tragic deaths of two women in the past month in WA.
“Across the State, family-related offences were up 18 per cent for 2022-2023 compared with the last year or almost 35 per cent on the five-year average,” Mr Collier said.
“It’s an absolute failure of the Cook Labor Government that with a significant increase in domestic violence related offences, our WA Police force remains so under-resourced with the number of officers dedicated to family violence less than it was two years ago.”
The spike was replicated across the board with robbery up 32 per cent, stealing up 20 per cent and fraud up 14 per cent.
Mr Collier said the regional crime statistics were also alarming, with the number of offences the highest ever recorded at 73,948.
For the year 2022-2023, crime in Carnarvon was up 42 per cent, Kununurra was up 33 per cent, Bunbury was up 34 per cent and Busselton was up 27 per cent.
“The Cook Labor Government is completely out of touch with the issues affecting ordinary Western Australians,” Mr Collier said.
“They have been protected by the cloak of COVID and the dominant style of leadership of former Premier Mark McGowan and now that both of those variables are gone, they have been hopelessly exposed as being not ‘match ready’.”
These figures emerge at a time when responses to questions in the Legislative Council reveal that resignations from the police force continue in earnest.
A total of 202 police officers have already resigned from the force in 2023, compared to an average annual resignation rate of 150. This follows a record 473 resignations in 2022.
“This makes the Labor government’s commitment to increase the number of police on our streets by 950 by June 2024 an impossible task. By Labor’s own figures, they are still 750 officers short with less than a year to go,” Mr Collier said.
“In addition, there are almost 200 vacancies throughout WA, most of which are in the regional parts of the state. This is a government that talks the talk but has dropped the ball on crime.”